Chapter 1: Curious Consistency
“And we won’t come home until we’ve kissed a girl~ ”
Humming along to his new obsession song, Wilford began an old dump to look for more nicknacks and fidgets to mess around with in his home… a broken old van. He carries a small backpack around him, and stuffs anything he finds adorable or useful in it. So far, he’s found a an old box full of exactly 15 bullets (“Who would ever want to get rid of this?? ”), a rubber duck, a toy dog bobble head, car keys, a paddle ball, a dirty ring, a slinky, a medal, a fire extinguisher, a water bottle that actually has clean water in it somehow, and a rose, that was planted inside of a dirty boot.
Once Wilford went all the way to his van/home, his first action was to put the rose on the dashboard. It gets perfect sunlight throughout most of the day. Wilford put the keys in the keyhole right next to the steering wheel, to see if it will turn the van on. Nothing. Oh well, it was worth a shot. At least he doesn’t have to break the windows to get in the van anymore!
As soon as he finished sorting all of his new junk in his van, Wilford then went out into town, wearing a dark blue hood over his head to hide from the police (except for Abe, he’s cool), and walked right to his favorite dance pub, Moonlight Rollerway. He greeted his favorite bartenders and DJs, and bought a martini with an easier-to-drink-with straw, because his half-black-half-pink mustache is way too big for its own good, almost making it look like Wilford doesn’t even have a mouth. He looked around to see if Abe was around today, until he felt something vibrate in his pant-pocket. He pulled out his phone, to see a text from Abe; “Got work, buddy. Can’t dance today. I’m free on Thursday, and then we can hang out, I promise. - Abe”
Wilford simply shrugged, and shoved his phone back in his pocket. He watched the dancers up on the stage while the blasting music was filling his head… until suddenly, the music blocks itself out as soon as someone caught Wilford’s eye.
They had black hair, a shiny black pair of pants with a matching blazer, with a white collar was poking out, pitch black pair of shoes, and… an odd, blue and red aura surrounding them. They also seem to have dead gray skin, just by Wilford peeking at the their neck. They suddenly disappeared from his sight, making Wilford immediately push through the crowd filling the room to follow them. It turns out that they were leaving Moonlight Rollerway, with Wilford following not-so-far behind. Before he knew it, Wilford was - all of the sudden - standing right behind the mysterious looking stranger, right outside of Moonlight Rollerway.
This stranger felt very familiar all of the sudden, but then again, Will wasn’t sure that they knew each other. He’d certainly remember this mysterious creature in any other light… like Wilford was drawn to them.
Honestly, Wilford was so drawn to this stranger and their appearance, that he just HAD to follow them! Wilford tried to come up with a proper introduction other than just stalking a very well-dressed handsome stranger, but he couldn't think of anything to say. Usually, it would be so easy for Will, but with this stranger in particular made his throat feel dry. So he kept coming up with introductions in his head as his pace slowed down so it wouldn't look like he was stalking the gray 3D looking stranger; “Have we known each other?” - “I like your glow today!” - “.... Long time no see?”
Settling down calmly, the stranger takes no notice of Will, drink in hand and head tilted up to the sky. While you’d think to see serenity or contemplation, the expression is blank, eyes narrowed in thought. Will’s head left-tilted, silently trying to grab the stranger’s attention without scaring them off. He had an urge to poke their shoulder, but…
Before he even knew it, the stranger was walking ten feet away from Wilford as he was still trying to introduce himself. Wilford’s head perked, and quickly (somehow quietly) ran to keep up with the stranger. He didn’t even notice he was spilling his martini. The stranger disappeared behind the corner, glancing over their shoulder for a moment. Wilford was terrified if this stranger had seen him, but he saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Wilford took a deep breath, and glanced down to realize that his martini glass was completely empty. He pouted, and just dropped it to the ground. It didn’t shatter once he stepped on it for good measure. He continued to follow the stranger around the corner, and immediately noticed something… different. The stranger suddenly looked shorter and slimmer than before. Even their hair looked more short around the neck and smoothed out. Maybe it was distance fooling Wilford?
The stranger peered over his shoulder, making Wilford immediately run back to the corner. He spotted something a little bit different about the stranger’s facial features as well, but he couldn’t quite place it. The stranger’s hair was covering up most of their face.
Wilford heard the stranger’s footsteps continue walking away from him, along with a high pitched ringing following him that Wilford didn't even notice until this very moment. He peeked from behind the corner, and silently continued following the stranger until they both reached to an empty part of town that was completely deserted. Wilford hid behind a building, seeing the stranger right in the middle of the road. No people, and no cars were in his way. Wilford watched the stranger look up and around the empty buildings, STILL having no idea how to introduce himself. His thoughts completely went blank once he finally caught view of the stranger’s face. It was a woman.
Will’s eyes widened with his jaw hanging. Wasn’t this stranger a man before…?! Wilford felt something in his chest beating like crazy.
He continued watching the stranger, now as a woman that looks strikingly familiar, still looking around the empty town. She took off her blazer and let it fall on the ground. The aura around her almost looked like it turned purple as soon as Wilford saw her almost take off flying.
Without another thought. Wilford skirted after her, wondering just who this woman was and why she was making his stomach do flips. Will swore he heard his own made up theme for this woman going on in his head as he chased after her as she fell and flew between and around buildings in the air. He still did try to stay hidden, by slowing down and hiding behind telephone poles.
The woman flying around with the blue and red aura around her made her look so graceful, that Wilford wished he could fly up there himself. But before he knew it, he was suddenly right on the top of the roof of a building. He spotted the woman standing right on the edge of the same building, making him quickly hide behind a small shed that leads inside.
Will peeked from the corner, seeing the stranger putting back on her blazer, even if it was on the ground the last time Wilford saw it.
A long, echoing sigh came from the woman, while Wilford, finally, gaining to courage just to say “Hello”. Seems easy enough. But he felt his phone vibrating in his pants again, with his obsession song playing as the ringtone.
“PUT ON YOUR SUNDAY CLOTHES, THERE'S LOTS OF WORLD OUT THEEEEEERRRRRREEE!!!! ”
“Ah, shoot…!” Wilford exclaimed under his breath, pulling out his phone to turn it off. The second he did so, he glanced over to the woman. She was staring right at him.
“Uh…” Wilford said quietly, shoving his phone in his pocket. “H- hello…”
Chapter 2: Scary Junkyard Adventures
The woman’s face was… well, very beautiful, yet she looked very shocked. To Wilford, it was clearly noticeable. He took a small breath, with his fingers fiddling. His face felt very hot right from out of nowhere.
“You've changed…” the woman said, making Wilford’s head perk. His brows furrowed.
“What do you mean?” he asked. “Have we met before?”
The woman’s face strangely started morphing with her aura almost looking like the red and blue are in turmoil. Both worried and fascinated, Wilford took a small step towards the woman.
“Are you alright?” he asked. The woman took one foot off the edge of the roof.
“We- I must go…” she said, gripping her hair. She suddenly hopped off the roof, with Wilford running after her.
“No, wait!” he exclaimed. He skidded on his knees to the very edge of the roof, and looked down to see the woman perfectly landing on her feet. She runs off, with the red and blue aura almost kicking her around. A loud, low, much more masculine growl came from her, as Wilford watched her run off. He stood up on his feet, and continued watching the stranger in true fascination. He sighed, dreamfully.
He didn’t see him- her? Them?- for the rest of that evening, but that didn’t stop Wilford from looking. This bedazzling stranger was always on the top of his mind, and he just wanted to see them, to talk to them.
The only problem was, he had no idea how to talk to such a… thing like that colorful yet dark stranger. He had this urge to ask this person so many questions, “How did you fly around like that?” - “What's with the abusive red and blue lights around you?” - “Why are you gray?” - “How the hell are you able to change your appearance/sex like that?!”
Once Wilford was jotting down questions on the wall in his van, that is when he realized; He’s questioning something that is out of the “ordinary”. He never does that…! He fiddled with the pen in his hands while watching his Hello Dolly! VHS on the TV, sitting in the corner of the van. His second obsession song was playing, It Only Takes A Moment.
Wilford always loved that little scene. Two people who realize that they’re in love, and they both just sing and take a stroll together in the middle of the night, holding hands. Wilford has done those strolls with a special somebody before, actually, he’s done it to MANY special somebodies, but there was always this one somebody that he remembers from the bottom of his heart, but not the top of his brain. He can never get her name quite right, and he would forget what she would even look like most of the time. It has been a long time since he last seen her, though, so it’s a bit understandable as to…
Wait, no… The stranger that Will was following earlier that evening, they looked almost EXACTLY like his first, and most favorite lover. He still couldn’t get her name right, though… Something that begins with a C…
The It Only Takes A Moment scene played softly as Wilford glanced over at the rose in the boot, sitting still on the dashboard. He thought of the stranger again, wondering if they would like the rose if Wilford gave it to them the next time they’d bump into each other. By the end of the song, Wilford looked down at his hands, and saw his fingers intertwined together.
He sighs, turned the TV off, and lied down on the mattress on the other side of the van, right across from the TV. And before he knew it, he fell right to sleep.
His dreams - or were they memories? - were happier than usual. William was sitting on a bench in God-knows-where, just laughing and talking with them. For one moment, they looked like the woman, but her hair was longer and pinned, and her eyes were shadowed with heavy makeup. Then, she changed, and he was now built and handsome, besuited and hair slicked back. His eyes were light, and Wilford could distinctly remember that he had a ribbon declaring his position and a beautifully polished obsidian-black cane. His smile was lovely.
Will had no idea what to think of that dream once he woke up. He felt very… old? Reminiscent? Well, it was something, obviously. He didn’t look into it very much. The stranger from yesterday was still sticking with him.
As soon as he went out of his van to stretch, he caught a glimpse of red and blue ghostly lights near the dump where he gets all his nicknacks. He immediately knew whose aura colors belonged to, and ran off to the dump to see where the stranger was. As soon as they were spotted, Wilford hid behind a huge pile of junk, and watched them intently.
He was a man again, almost flitting around the area. The stranger touched nothing, but every once in a while he would pause to look at something, or hover his fingers over particular amenities. Revealing nothing in his blank expression, Wilford had no idea what he was doing here, but that same warm feeling enveloped him.
At the very edge of his eye, Wilford spotted a cockroach, about the size of his thumb, heading its way to the stranger. Wilford crouched down on the ground, watching the cockroach and its tiny legs make its way to the stranger’s foot. The second it looked like the cockroach touched the stranger’s shoe, the stranger’s arm suddenly went black, almost looking like a skeleton, with the red and blue aura becoming a big colorful ball of… something surrounding the stranger’s hand, and blasted the cockroach. Wilford gasped loudly, covering his mouth.
The stranger sneered, with his eyes piercing down to a newly formed blasted hole on the ground, with smoke coming out of it. His hand became normal, with his aura going back to dancing around his body. Wilford stayed hidden behind the pile of junk, crouched on the ground, watching.
Suddenly, the cockroach hopped right out of the hole, fluttering some dirt and smoke off its wings. The stranger blinked, his expression softened. He knelt down, and gently put his finger right in front of the cockroach. Wilford did nothing but watch.
The thumb-sized bug climbed all over the stranger’s hand, and sped-traveled all over the rest of him, making him hum in amusement. Wilford swore he saw him smile, making him chuckle quietly, only making the stranger to have his arm go black skeleton, powerful red and blue aura bullet ball again, blasting the junk pile Wilford was hiding behind.
“AGH!!!” Wilford quickly ran over to another junk pile, leading that one to be blasted as well.
“SHIT!” As much as he wanted to hide, Wilford just tripped to the ground, and covered himself in dirt, foolishly trying to hide himself. He could hear the stranger walking towards him, with the high pitched ringing as annoyingly painful as possible.
“Identify yourself,” the stranger said, with quiet echoes right afterwards. Wilford was shaking, covering his face in just pure fear, which is something he is usually ashamed for.
“Identify yourself, or you’ll regret it,” the stranger said, much more gruff this time. Wilford uncovered his eyes, seeing the stranger staring right down at him, sneering. He slowly moved his hands away, revealing his mustache to the stranger. The stranger’s expression, much like with what just happened to the cockroach, softened. Wilford noticed the cockroach sitting on the stranger's shoulder, and just said nothing.
The stranger then leaned over, and reached out his hand, right in front of Will’s face. It was the same hand that was a freaking SKELETON POWERBALL ARM, so obviously, Wilford was a little bit hesitant, but he eventually took it, with the stranger pulling him up off the ground.
“Wipe that look off of your face,” he snapped, but Wilford merely kept grinning.
“That was amazing! How did your arm do that? Do you blast people you don't like all the time, or is it just some sort of intimidation thing-”
The stranger sighed, muttering to himself, “Damien was right, he never does shut up.”
“That little cockroach wasn’t even phased by you!!” Wilford exclaimed, pointing at the cockroach on the stranger’s shoulder. “If I was that little thing, I'd be shaking in my little baby bug boots!”
The stranger had his hands behind his back, looking down at his feet. Wilford kept babbling proudly. This might be his only chance to actually try to talk to this powerful, quiet… person?
The stranger pursed his lips, and took a step away from Wilford as he kept chatting.
“I have to leave,” he said, interrupting Wilford. Wilford, being the persistent curious man that he is, pouted.
“Is it alright if I come with?” he asked. “Only for a little while, I just like to talk, and then I’ll be out of your hair-”
Wilford blinked, and the stranger was gone. He took the cockroach with him too.
A loud blasting noise came from not-so-far away from where Wilford was still standing, and a huge puff of smoke rose up in the air, a few feet away from him. Wilford smirked, knowing exactly what the stranger just did; He exploded a car!!
Chapter 3: Cautious "Friendship" Progress
Wilford ran right over to where the explosion was, and saw the stranger sitting on a tipped over fridge, in front of the blasted-to-pieces car.
“What exactly are you looking for?” Wilford asked, appearing right next to him. If he startled the stranger, he didn’t show it, but he was quiet for a moment.
“... I suppose I'll know when I find it.”
Wilford’s fingers fiddled, while the stranger just stared at the fire forming around the destroyed car. The little cockroach was still sitting on his shoulder. Feeling more confident to talk, Wilford took a small breath.
“Well, if you're having trouble finding something around a junkyard, I’d be more than happy to help you,” he said, making the stranger’s eyes glance over at him. “I know this place like the back of my hand. I actually live in a van just a few feet by!”
The stranger’s eyebrow curled up, and said nothing. Wilford leaned over, trying to read the stranger's expression. Very blank.
“I’ve heard your thoughts, ” the stranger said, making Wilford blink in surprise. “ You were trying so hard to simply say hello to me, have you not?”
It… actually sounds like the stranger is interested in talking with Wilford this time! Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy! Wilford swallowed his excitement, and nodded. The stranger hummed.
“That must explain why you’ve been stalking me,” he said. Wilford, feeling slightly offended, puffed out his chest.
“Well, I wouldn’t call it ‘stalking’,” he replied. “I would like to call it…… ‘The Curious Walk’.”
The stranger scoffed.
“Call it whatever you wish, it’ll still be stalking in the morning,” he said. Wilford giggled quietly. “But then, we would get nowhere either way, so the name doesn’t quite matter all that much.”
“I’d argue about that, a name is terribly important,” Wilford pointed out shrewdly.
“Speaking of which,” he continued, snapping a finger. “What is your name?”
The stranger’s aura glitched for a moment, in which Wilford made a small “Whoa” to under his breath. The stranger mumbled something, VERY quietly.
“What was that?” Wilford asked. The stranger’s aura glitched again.
“DARK,” he replied, almost rudely. He cleared his throat, and tugged on his collar. “My name is Dark.”
Wilford’s head tilted at that. He expected his name to be something much more graceful or intimidating!
“Really?” Wilford asked. The stranger- oops- Dark nodded. “Huh.”
There was an awkward silence between the two. Wilford remembered the stranger- oops- Dark’s familiar feminine appearance, and hesitantly took a breath.
“What's your other name?” he asked. Oh boy, Dark's aura DEFINITELY glitched at that question! Wilford only caught a hint of Dark's feminine looks, mostly the face.
“I'd…” Dark said gruffly, right after his aura looked like it was kicking him around. “I’d rather not say…”
Wilford wanted to insist into knowing, but the inflection in Dark’s voice made him quiet.
Another awkward moment of silence.
“What is your name?” Dark asked suddenly. Wilford’s brows batted up in surprise, and quickly cleared his throat.
“Wilford Warfstache~” he replied. Dark pursed his lips, with his aura wobbling.
“You really have changed,” he muttered.
“What was that?” Wilford asked. Dark’s back flinched up, stiff.
“Nothing, nothing,” he replied quickly. Wilford simply shrugged.
“I’ve seen you before,” Wilford hummed, leaning back on the fridge. “I know I have, but it’s like tip-of-the-tongue syndrome… couldn’t say where for the life of me.”
“I’m not surprised, ” Dark replied. “ This area is one I like to visit often.”
“... The garbage dump?”
He frowned. “Certainly not. I’m just looking for something- but then again, I believe I've found it.”
Wilford's head perked.
“Oh?” he asked. “What could that be?”
Dark mumbled something Wilford couldn’t quite catch.
“This cockroach,” he replied, with the cockroach sitting in his hand, asleep.
Darn. Wilford got his hopes up for a minute there. But it might be a bit too early for THAT to happen anyway. Still, though…
“You gonna name it?”
“Of course not, it’s a cockroach.”
“Are you kidding?!” Wilford stood up from the fridge. “Didn’t you hear what I just said about having a name that’s very important??”
Dark rolled his eyes.
“Yes, but this cockroach already has a name,” he replied. “Cockroach.”
Wilford pouted, resting his elbows on the fridge, looking at the cockroach in Dark’s hands.
“Well, we can’t name it ‘Cocky’, because that can be taken the wrong way almost immediately…”
Dark scoffed again, just going with the flow.
“‘Bug’,” he said. Wilford tsked his tongue.
“‘Bug’ would sound too lazy, but I appreciate the participation,” he replied.
“Uuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh- COACH ROACH!!! IT'S PERFECT!!!”
Wilford’s mag-name opus made Dark flinch, with the cockroach jumping awake, speeding up to hide in Dark’s hair.
“I still like ‘Bug’,” Dark mumbled, coaxing the cockroach off of his head. “It’s simple. Perhaps not eloquent, but it’s easy to remember and slides off the tongue.”
“What, like your name?”
“Give me a break, I didn’t name myself.”
“Then who in the world thought it was a good idea to name you DARK??” Wilford asked.
“Somebody from a bar I visited, actually,” Dark replied. Wilford slapped his hands on his legs.
“Seriously?” he asked. Dark nodded, with ‘Bug’ hanging onto his earlobe.
“It was a long time ago,” Dark said. “1964, I think.”
Jeez, 1964?! Wilford just remembered what current year it is right now; 1989. That was a VERY long time ago..
“I thought the man was high, calling me such a thing,” he said. “But it turned out he was serious. And a lot of people would ask themselves if they were high if they all saw me.”
“I know I wasn’t when I first spotted you yesterday,” he replied. Dark cocked an eyebrow.
“How do you know?” he asked.
“I didn’t get a drink from my martini yet!” Wilford exclaimed. Dark scoffed, again.
The madman pouted a little, pulling at one of the buttons for his taffy-pink shirt.
“‘Least I named myself,” he said, not un-childishly. “My name’s alliterative. And unusual.”
That had Dark snort. “I’ll consent to agree with the unusual portion, Wilford.”
Wilford grinned at that, taking it as a genuine compliment. He felt warm all over, definitely not because of the fire still swarming the car.
“Thank you!” he exclaimed. He didn’t notice it, but Dark eyed over to the car, and saw a dirty (full) jug of gasoline right next to it, and immediately stood up from the fridge.
“We have to go,” he said. Wilford, having no idea what Dark meant by that, frowned deeply.
“Aww, do you have to?” he asked. “We were just starting to know each other-”
Suddenly, Dark wrapped an arm around Wilford’s shoulder, and raised his hand up in the air, watching the fire slowly reach the gasoline. He snapped his fingers as soon as the fire made contact with it, forming a HUGE, ghost-like shield around him, Wilford, and Bug. You should have seen how big that explosion was! Junk and fire were flying EVERYWHERE!
He stared up at Dark in awe, shivering with the realization of the situation. Bug cringed away from the fire, cowering under Dark’s shirt collar. He was pretty sure a few jars in the fridge had exploded from the heat.
When the fire dissipated enough, the shield broke, Dark slumping against Wilford's shoulder.
“Oop!” Wilford almost fell over as Dark leaned on him, but held him up by his arms. Dark’s head was almost hanging back, with Bug rustling in his collar. Wilford bit his lip, a bit unsure as to what next to do..
“Will…” Dark muttered, with his hand suddenly gripping on Wilford’s shoulder. “Your van... You said you have a van not so far from here..?”
Wilford nodded. He felt Dark’s hand pat his shoulder.
“Good,” he said. “I need a place to sit after doing a stunt like that.”
Wilford let Dark lean on him, with Dark’s arm still around Wilford’s shoulder.
“Have you done something like that before?” Wilford asked.
“No,” Dark replied quietly. “I knew I could do it, though, somehow.”
“Do you need something to eat?” Wilford asked, dragging him over to his home. He fumbled with the keys for a moment, Dark muttering “Nice interior,” politely.
“Just a place to sit. Though I wouldn't mind water, or something stronger.”
Wilford’s head perked. He just remembered the water bottle he found! As soon as he unlocked and opened one of the back doors of the van, he carefully made Dark move his arm off his shoulder, and they both crawled inside. Dark’s first accidental instinct was to bump his head on the ceiling.
“Careful there,” Wilford said, digging through a glove box to grab his water bottle. “The top of this thing is a lot lower than it looks!”
Dark rubbed the top of his head with Bug in his hand, while sitting on Wilford’s mattress. “Yes, I can see that.”
Chapter 4: Can't Take the Changes
“So,” Dark started, after thanking him for the drink, “How long have you been living in this van?”
“Couple weeks… months… decades…”
The look Dark gave him made Wilford blush.
“Times are hard, okay? Jeez.”
“No no, I wasn’t judging you or anything,” Dark said. “I just found it a bit odd that someone like you could end up living in a broken van. I figured you would be out in France somewhere, being with all of the lovers you could imagine, being rich, living the dream, and such.”
Wilford plopped right next to Dark on the mattress, trying not to be so close.
“I actually was in France!” he replied. “But I never got myself rich. Though, I DID have a few ladies and mens and ‘others’ with me every now and then. All of them were lovely.”
Dark just sat quietly and listened to Wilford’s ramblings while Bug was climbing and sleeping all over his fingers.
“... Do you remember me, Will?” That gave the reporter pause, taking an out-of-nowhere sip of tea from his coffee mug. With a straw.
“I don't quite know what you mean. Haven't we just met?”
Dark took a deep breath, with his aura wobbling, trying to keep itself together.
“We have, but… I feel as if though you’ve been following me because of… something.”
Wilford’s fingers fidgeted around his mug, twirling the straw around with his tongue. He had an obvious look on his face that he was trying to think.
“I remember you from… somewhere,” he replied. “It’s still tip-of-the-tongue syndrome right now for me… I’ve only been following you because… well…”
A red part of Dark’s aura ran across his face, morphing his feminine side only for a second. Wilford felt chills in his arms.
“You’re incredible,” he finished. He scooted to face Dark while leaning his back on the front passenger seat.
“I want to know every single little thing about you. How you have those little auras flying around you, the ringing, the gray skin, the flying, the man-to-woman change thing, everything! I'm just so curious about everything about you! And yesterday, I realized that I haven't felt like that for something, or some one in a very long time… And I love it!”
Both’s cheeks reddened briefly, and Dark cleared his throat, tugging at his tie in an attempt to compose himself.
“Well, Wilford, I suppose you’ve colored me flattered.”
“I can see that!” Wilford exclaimed, grinning widely. “You’re welcome!”
Dark - somewhat bashfully - smiled.
“Well,” Dark said, the closest to shyly he’s been in decades, “For what it’s worth, you’re incredibly fascinating.”
Wilford hopped up on his knees, with the biggest grin he ever grinned in his life.
“You really think so??” he asked. Dark just nodded.
“Of course, ” he said. “It’s like you have this unknown feeling that you think we’re both connected somehow. I find that very refreshing, honestly.”
Wilford snapped a finger.
“Ohhh, like you feel as though you’re out of place??” he asked. Dark shrugged with one shoulder slightly.
“Not like that, but I know I’m…” a quick moment of silence. Dark probably was trying to find a more fitting word than ‘different’ or ‘extraordinary’, or - as to what Wilford just called him - ‘incredible’. “... rare.”
The madman chuckled, shaking his head. “You think too little of yourself.”
“I don’t need to,” Dark said. “The only thing I have to think about is… finding somebody.”
Wilford leaned a tiny bit.
“Somebody whooo…?” he asked slowly. Dark bit the inside of his cheek harshly, almost wincing at it.
“Somebody who…” Dark started quietly. He started for form fists, with Bug waking up (again), and crawling up Dark’s sleeve. “Took things from me. Judging by you and your… ‘tip-of-the-tongue’ syndrome, you might not even remember him at all.”
Wilford’s arms crossed, smirking widely.
“His name…” Dark hesitated. This is the sort of subject one should ease into.
Wilford’s eyes were twinkling in anticipation. Dark pursed his lips, and sighed.
“His name is Markiplier,” he finished. Wilford simply blinked. His lips pouted out from under his mustache. He glanced down to his knees in thought.
“That does ring a bell,” Wilford said quietly. “A rather small bell, actually. Quite the strange name.”
“As you said, names are important.”
Wilford giggled at that. Dark felt a little something around his chest. He had no idea what it was, and shrugged it off his mind.
“How long have you been looking for him?” Wilford asked. Dark’s eyebrows raised slightly.
“I… haven’t thought of that for a long time…” Dark mumbled. Wilford’s head tilted.
“Well, you don’t HAVE to tell me if you-”
“67 years…” Dark said. Wilford muttered a small “Okie” at that.
67 years… Has it really been that long a search?? Was that really how old Dark was in 1989?? Dark suddenly remembered Will's age when he was at the mansion. 28.. Dark was created when Will was 28…
WILLIAM IS 95 YEARS OLD?!?!
The madman’s head tilted (AGAIN) quietly. “Dark, you alright? You look like you just bit into a lemon.”
Dark's lips pursed as he tried to clear his throat.
“I’m fine,” he muttered. “I just need to… get some air for a minute or two.”
Wilford sat up and quickly sprawled over to the back doors of the van, and slammed the both of them open.
“Here ya go!!” he exclaimed. Dark sighed quietly.
“Thank you,” he said. Dark felt Bug crawling up his arm up out of his collar as he sat out on the edge of the van.
It was then that Wilford noticed that it was already nighttime. Jeez, how long was he rambling??
He leaned against the door of the car, running his hands through his hair.
Wilford crawled to Dark, and sat next to him with his shoulders hunched. Dark eyes over at his… friend, and sighed again.
“You act a lot younger than you are,” he muttered.
“What makes you say that?” Wilford asked, smirking.
Dark sighed (again) through his nose.
“I’d observe every thing you do," he said. “You’re very child-like and eccentric. The complete opposite of how you looked 67 years ago, but I suppose that is what made others drawn to you.”
Dark suddenly realized what he just said and covered his mouth.
“I guess that’s true,” Wilford said, practically unphased from what Dark just said. “But from what I always say to myself, life needs madness. I am the way I am because I live for the thrill of it! It's wonderful!”
“Yes, but then what happens because of that? Are there no consequences to answer to?”
“Oh, LOTS of things!” Wilford exclaimed. “Lemme count them for you!”
“1. Shooting a few people,
- Getting arrested,
- Name changing,
- Sleeping with wives/husbands/others,
- Shooting the wife/husband/other if they found out I was sleeping with THEIR wife/husband/other,
- Getting arrested,
- Name changing,
- Traveling to hide from the police,
- Making LOTS of getaways while changing my name LOTS of times,
- Befriending a detective police guy that is a terrible dancer but I won't say anything about it because I love him,
- Living in a broken van near a garbage dump,
- Finding you!”
“But most of the time, I just dance, get drunk, fight, and flirt while I’m on the run,” Wilford finished, beaming.
That was… a lot less than what Dark anticipated Wilford’s list to be. He spotted Wilford having more than 10 fingers as he listed, but they disappeared as soon as Wilford hid his hands behind his back in an adorably obnoxious manner.
Dark shook his head. He’d wanted to ask about number twelve, but something told him not to bring Abe into this. “You, Wilford Warfstache, are a handful.”
“I know I am!” Wilford exclaimed. “I’m impossible, it’s ridiculous, I know, but I always make it through!”
… Dark suddenly had a slightly uncomfortable feeling. Wilford seemed a bit too cheerful about his certain… problems. Well, he’s lost his mind, so he must be cheerful at all the wrong times in general. Still, though, Dark had this feeling…
Are you quite sure? Will blinked. Most people in your position would complain about it.
WWWWWWWWHHHHHHOOOOOOAAAAAAAAA, WAIT A MINUTE……
Dark’s aura suddenly warbled a LOT. He glanced over at Wilford, seeing him curiously looking at Dark in the eyes. Wilford then blinked again, chuckling lightly.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” he laughed. “Everybody I meet always ends up looking at me strangely if they hear my voice in their head!”
Dark felt a nerving feeling in his chest. He felt the urge to leave. Wilford frowned.
“Do you have to?” he asked. “I was thinking you and I would go and scare my detective friend, Abe! He would LOVE to meet you!”
Dark stood up.
“I need to leave,” he said. He felt Wilford grab his hand.
Come on, stay, just for a little while longer? Wilford’s voice filled Dark’s head, and he shook his hand free.
“Will, I-” Dark tried to find a convincing way for Wilford to let him leave. “I need to go find Mark.”
“Let me come with you!” Wilford exclaimed out loud. “That way, you don’t have to be the rare lonely one! Oh!”
Wilford suddenly jumped back inside the van to grab something.
“Ever since I saw you last night, I thought you might like this!” he exclaimed. Dark watched Wilford reach over to the dashboard to grab a rose, growing from a boot. He felt Bug on his shoulder, jumping over and over again to leave.
Dark really wanted to leave this poor madman alone because of just how strange and unintentionally sad he is, but... he DIDN’T want to leave him all alone either.
“It’s alright!” Wilford exclaimed, boot/rose in hand. “I’m always alone most of the ti-”
With the blink of an eye, Wilford’s rose-growing-boot was out of his hands, and Dark (with Bug) was nowhere to be seen. Wilford hopped out and climbed on the top of his van, and looked around for Dark’s auras. Nothing. The lights beaming down around the garbage dump didn’t really seem to help much. Will cupped his hands around his mouth.
He never spotted Dark again for 23 years…
Until Wilford was strolling around the woods, looking around for a certain famous no-face tentacled monster.
Chapter 5: Something's Familiar!
The air seemed chiller than normal, but Will didn’t mind very much. It gave the forest a more spooky, atmospheric effect.
Wilford brought a camera with him to try to film an “exclusive interview” with this monster in the forest. This monster apparently leaves notes in the middle of the forest, and has… probably the oddest mixture of words put into one name that Wilford ‘Motherloving’ Warfstache has ever heard in his life; “Slenderman”.
He noticed a piece of yellowed paper stabbed into a tree. It looked like it had been put there many times, judging by the amount of holes in the bark.
Wilford eagerly snatched the paper from the tree, reading it out loud to his camera, because there - hopefully - will be a future audience watching this footage later on. The writing looked very scratchy and jagged.
“‘Dear Slenderman’- Aw, he addresses it to himself, how adorable! ‘Dear Slenderman… Today, I saw him! He looks so gorgeous there, with his long, flowing mohawk, and his entirely muscular build! This one that I LOVE, so dearly, Mr. Markiplier!’”
THAT name rings a bell! But Wilford shoved that thought away and continued talking out loud to his camera.
“Well, it seems that the Slenderman has a romantic interest that we need to interview him about!” he chuckles.
Wilford continues walking around the woods for about 7 minutes, collecting 3 more pages around the woods. The last page Wilford collected was… um…
“‘Warfstache’s mustache is stupid’- WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME, YOU SON OF A BITCH?!”
Triggering, to say the least.
The small screen from Wilford’s camera started to turn staticky; A small sign that the Slenderman was close around.
“Mr. Slenderman, are you out there?!” Wilford exclaimed angrily. “I’ve got a back of my hand to introduce to your BUTT!! And it’s gonna not feel very good, unlike what you wanna do to Mr. Markiplier~!”
Wilford completely forgot the insult that the Slenderman wrote down, and started laughing about the Slenderman wanting to do… “intimacy”, until Wilford bumped into a huge red-
“Oohhhh, well, well, well, what do we have here~? The Slenderman's gigantic red dildo! The D-I-L-D-O device! Otherwise known as a dildo!”
It's actually a silo, but whatever.
“I wouldn’t mess with that if I were you.”
Wilford flinched, and quickly turned around to see where that voice came from. “Wuwuzat??”
Wilford simply shrugged, and hopped right back into his “interview”. He snatched his 4th page from the Slenderman’s diary off the dildo-silo, and read out loud; “‘Oh, how I wish that this dildo could be Markiplier for real! ’”
He chuckles VERY immaturely.
“‘I’d just imagine’-”
The loud noise made Wilford jump, closing the small screen into the camera, stopping the recording. Wilford turned around, and saw the tall, faceless, somewhat kinky Slenderman, standing in front of him.
“Oh, Mr. Slenderman!!” Wilford grinned. “How did you become addicted to heroine?!”
It wasn’t until then that Wilford felt about 4 tentacles wrap around his body tightly, making him drop his camera. The Slenderman lifts Wilford up with ease, and throws and tosses him around multiple times in the air. It didn’t look like the Slenderman was going to catch him the last time.
Suddenly, a purple blur flew through the air, grabbing Wilford as soon as he was about to hit the ground.
Wilford felt a tight hand let go of his leg, making him flop on the ground. He looked up, seeing a woman dressed in a suit, with strikingly familiar red and blue auras surrounding her. She was guarding him from the Slenderman…
“Stay behind me,” she said, with low echoes in her voice. Even though Wilford knew she wouldn’t see it, he nodded in awe. He wished he had his camera in his hands.
The pale man snarled, which made the woman smirk. “You picked the wrong day to take a stroll.”
Small red and blue fireballs sparked from the woman’s hands, with Wilford skittering up to his feet. He watched the woman charge right to the Slenderman, dodging and blocking away from his tentacles, with her fireballs practically shooting out of her hands all over the Slenderman. Wilford practically had his jaw hanging in confusion, curiousness, and awe. After 3 or 4 more fireballs, the Slenderman looked completely roasted in black. The woman sped her way back to Wilford, grabbing his hand.
“He won’t stay like that for long,” she said. With a sway of her hand, Wilford suddenly heard a car pull over near him.
“Get in the car, now,” the woman demanded. Speechless lil Wilford took a small breath, remembering something.
“But-” his camera!!
“I said NOW!!” the woman commanded. Without question, Wilford immediately hopped in the car through the window, landing in the front passenger seat. As soon as he got himself situated to sit upright, he glanced over to see the woman next to him, starting up the car.
Spotting the smokey black Slenderman approaching the car, the woman pulled the lever next to her, and stepped on one of the foot pedals as fast as possible, almost too fast for Wilford to process what the woman just did.
Wilford looked behind his shoulder to the back window, where Slenderman quickly disappeared into the distance. He drew a shaky breath. “What… who are you?”
“I’m someone who just saved your ass,” the woman said. “This part of the forest is not to be tampered with when you know that THAT thing is moping around here.”
Well, Wilford already knew that, but…
“I was dared by my boss to try and find him for an interview,” he said. “I suppose I didn’t really think of what would happen... He sure did a number on me!”
The lady was looking at him funny. “What? When the boss says you do something, you gotta do it!”
“That boss of yours wanted you dead, apparently,” the woman muttered. Wilford scoffed.
“‘Dead’, haha! Like I could die. You’re funny, lady.”
The woman sneered slightly, saying nothing. Wilford fiddled with his fingers as the woman continued driving silently. It didn’t take a long time to actually find a road, but when it was spotted, Wilford heard a soft “Finally” from the woman.
Wilford hummed softly, his head resting on his fist and staring out the window. Occasionally, he’d glance up at her.
He sworn he's seen her before… Her aura reminds him of somebody, but…
“Tip-of-the-tongue syndrome hitting you again?” the woman asked, making Wilford flinch.
“What are you talki-”
“You used to call it that.”
Wilford stared at her for a loooong while. She couldn’t look at him back, because she was driving, obviously. She looked like she was trying to hint that she and Wilford met before.
We have, the woman’s voice filled Wilford’s brain. Dance pub, following me through town, garbage dump, giving me a rose. It was nice.
Wilford had no idea what to say, only thinking, I bet it was.
She smiled at that, finally saying out loud, “It’s probably trickier for you to remember me in this form.”
She has another form?!
“Sure do,” she replied. “Many, in fact. Every person I meet, I can change into their form behind their back and fool with them.”
Wilford had the courage to speak, “Can you change into one of them right now?”
“Of course not, I’m driving,” the woman said in a slightly snarky tone. “I make it look easy when it’s really the most uncomfortable feeling someone like me could endure when I need to change.”
She huffed. “I’m literally rearranging my physical and chemical makeup in a matter of seconds, Wilford. It’s not like I’m putting on a skinsuit and calling it a day.”
“Why do you do it then?” Wilford didn’t even notice, the woman said his name without asking for it. “It sounds like you do it a lot.”
“Not a lot, but I do it whenever I feel the need to,” the woman replied. “Mostly to fool around with others, but… I have my own male and female form, and I change to either one whenever I feel most comfortable.”
“Ooh, genderfluid, I see!” Wilford exclaimed, making the woman chuckle lightly, followed with very lighthearted echoing in her voice.
“Basically,” the woman smiled sweetly. Wilford felt butterflies in his stomach.
She ducked her head to avoid the burning on her cheeks. “Anyways. I have no idea where to drop you off-”
“-Oh, no, don’t go out of your way on my account. I’ll just enjoy the ride to… wherever we’re going?”
The woman was quiet for a moment, and sped the car up a small bit. The two are silent in the car for a few hours until they reach a gate to a town of apartment buildings. The woman pulls out a card from her breast blazer pocket, and opens her window. As soon as the tip of the car tapped the gate, the woman pressed her card up to a screen on the wall, holding up one of the gates. A loud “click!” was heard, and the gates open inwards, letting the woman's car in.
Wilford opened his window and pokes his head out, looking around at all of the buildings. It all looks very empty.
“Do other people live here?” Wilford asked.
“None,” the woman replied. “I have a feeling others will come in eventually though.”
“That sounds pretty nice- you taking any guests?”
“God no,” the woman said, stuffing her card back in her breast pocket. “I never invite people on my own accord. I suppose they are just too freaked out by me that rarely anybody ever comes here.”
“Well, shame on them!” he exclaimed. “I’m happy I’ve met you! The place I’ve lived in before was just under my boss’s desk - and he didn’t even know about it until yesterday - and just by looking at THIS place, this is nothing compared to that!!”
The woman smiled again, pulling over near a small parking lot.
“Is that a hint that you want to quit your job and you want to live here?” she asked. Wilford laughed.
The woman raised an eyebrow.
“I don’t wanna quit my job, but I wanna live here!” Wilford corrected himself, making the woman roll her eyes.
“You’re lucky there are so many empty apartments,” she said. “This neighborhood is the most deserted part of LA, right next to the garbage dump next door-”
The woman’s aura started wobbling.
She winced and turned away for a moment, her body’s proportions morphing. Taller, broader shoulders, masculine features. Will’s next response died on his lips as he turned back to the madman, deep brown eyes examining him with a curious expression.
Without even saying anything, the man scrambled out of the car, with Wilford doing the same thing, but not out-of-control-panic-mode. He heard the man mumbling a bunch of nonsense to himself.
“Why of all people does HE make me like this??” he growls. That voice sure does sound familiar. The man glares at Wilford. “No shit.”
Wilford tried not to take any offense to that, only shaking his head, and slowly making his way towards the man.
“Are you alright?” he asked. The man was gripping at his hair with one hand, and was tugging at his blazer for a moment. A small, thumb-sized cockroach suddenly popped out from his hair.
“I’m fine, Bug,” the man said. “Just one of those moments again.”
Wilford blinked at the tiny cockroach, gaze darting from Bug to the man in question several times before it dawned on him.
Wilford felt an uncontrollable smile run across his face. “I KNEW IT!!!”
Chapter 6: Adorkable Reunion
Wilford runs over at Dark, and gives him a tackle hug, making him glitch out for a second or two, and returning to normal. “I knew it was you from the moment you saved me!! How are you, my friend?!”
Dark gritted his teeth together as Wilford’s tight hug almost felt like he was about to crush his ribs and snap his spine. As if Dark wanted that to happen... again.
“Besides your unintentional attempt to close my lungs,” Dark held Wilford's shoulders, and gently shoved him off. “I’m alright.”
Wilford had the biggest smile that Dark has ever seen on a man’s face. Since the two weren’t in the car or fighting a faceless pale suited tentacle man in the woods anymore, Dark could finally get a good look at Wilford after 23 years.
Thin black rectangle framed glasses, a dark blue hooded sweater with a white eagle on it, big expressive brown eyes with VERY animated eyebrows, baggy jeans, sneakers, a pouted out lip under a curled pink mustache, and a small shark-fin-like hair tip.
Dark quickly did the math of how old Wilford was... 118, while Dark was 90. Still very baffling, but Dark has kind of accepted the fact that Wilford was older than him a few years after he ran off from the garbage dump.
“Wow, you’re younger than me??” Wilford gasped. “You act a lot older than you are!!”
Dark smiled slightly, but his aura still has this unnerving feeling around him. At least it’s dying down a little. Dark then felt Bug run across his arm to the tip of his fingers, and hopped on Wilford’s shoulder.
“Hey there!” Wilford grinned, letting Bug zip all over his body like a tiny version of the Flash.
Wilford giggled again, cupping Bug in one hand and stroking his thorax with the other. “And how are you both?”
One of Bug’s antennae twitched two times and he hopped once.
“That’s Morse Code for ‘happy’,” Dark said. Wilford’s smile at that was downright contagious.
“I’m glad too, I’m really glad.” He looked up. “It’s so good to see you two again.”
Dark suddenly felt a tinge of… something. Sadness? Probably? It's so good to see you two again.
Dark thought of a pair of twins, a brother and a sister. Both with black hair, brown eyes, most of their clothing was black and white. The brother was one of Wilford’s best friends, the sister was Wilford’s first lover. All three of them were very close. Their names were…
“Dark, what are you so quiet for?” Wilford asked, with Bug sitting on the very tip of his fingers. Dark quickly cleared his throat.
“Nothing, I was just thinking,” he replied. Please don’t ask why, please don’t ask why, please don’t ask why, please don’t ask why…
“I won’t ask anything,” Wilford said, making Dark sigh in relief.
“Hey, can we take a tour around this place? I wanna see every inch and cranny!”
He nodded, swallowing the lump in his throat. “Of course.”
Dark has walked around, showing Wilford… well… basically everything he could all around the abandoned apartment buildings, even when most of them look exactly the same. Dark mostly said the rooms that are not bathrooms or bedrooms or generator rooms or kitchens are just rooms nobody ever uses. Wilford would immediately observe the rooms, and… label them. He would label the rooms and say they might be for a future use if more people come. Dark thought it was all because of Wilford’s positivity and hopefulness for everything, but… this is an abandoned neighborhood of apartment buildings with only one person (and a bug) living in it for years. How in the world would there be more people to come and stay?
Well… Years later, and Dark has regretted his doubts about people staying. It turns out that a lot of people came in. The oddest thing about it is… they all look like Markiplier. But all of them have different names, personalities, jobs… it honestly has given Dark a LOT of confusion when the first few have started coming around. He asked them multiple questions, followed them around, has absolutely no trust in them whatsoever. He eventually gave in and didn't go all detective mode for the rest. Going full-on detective mode was Abe’s job anyway, who visited on occasion, just to be with Wilford mostly.
And on the topic of Wilford, he’d continued his steady dive into the deep end. Over the years he’d almost developed two personalities, and even his mustache followed in on the act.
It was… odd, to say the least. Wilford’s main personality of the two was just…
Wilford Warfstache; the eccentric, reality-bending, pink-mustached, murderous empath who thinks death is a myth.
The other one was…… something Dark couldn’t really get a finger on. It was Wilford, but the more sane side of him. He’s a lot more quiet and calm about things, even his mustache droops down a little bit in a very soothing way. He is still eccentric and his mustache is still pink, but he is much more calm than he usually is. Dark found it a bit disturbing at times at how much it reminded him of Wilford’s past self so much.
And even then, these… feelings had continued to brew under Dark’s skin. Things leapt out at him that he had no business even noticing.
Like, how Wilford preferred pens over pencils. That his favorite brand of bubbles could only be ordered off of select online services because it came from a small Korean business. That he had thirty five pairs of the same shoe style, simply because he liked how much taller they made him looked. Now, Dark knew that Wilford was older than him, but having multiple pairs of the same kind of shoes to make him look taller was slightly going too far! Age doesn't have to do with height! Or… was that the reason Wilford got all those shoes? He ever specified why, so Dark always assumed it was because of his age. Wilford has a weird mind like that.
Or maybe it was just because he wanted to be taller.
Who knows, really.
And with everybody looking exactly like Markiplier, the same face, the same build, the same voice, the same height, it can get a little bit tempering where everybody is angry and loud and 5’9.
Chapter 7: Kinda Got Him, Kinda Didn't
Dark was lucky, he supposed, in a twisted way. Even his dominant form was unique among his brethren- after all, the body he inhabited was not his own. Wilford only had the luxury of a golden gun and some violent shades of pink.
In fact, Wilford even dyed his hair pink to stand out a little bit more than the rest. Once it started to fade about a year later, he dared Dark to dye his hair red. Dark was VERY persistent about it, but he obviously gave in. Wilford said he'd fake cry about it.
“Now, try all of these on!” Wilford exclaimed, shoving a pile of clothes in Dark’s arms.
“Whatever you say,” Dark mumbled, heading in Wilford's closet. Only a few seconds have passed, and Dark comes out.
A pitch black shirt with a painted skull on it, a bright white tie, ripped up jeans, sneakers, raccoon-like eyeliner, and messy dyed red hair. Wilford stared at Dark’s temporary look for a looooong moment.
“Can you make your skin not gray?” he asked.
Dark rolled his eyes, “Wilford what the hell is this for??”
“Just make your skin not gray, and I’ll tell you!” Wilford exclaimed. Dark did so. “PERFECT!”
On seeing his reflection, Dark merely rolled his eyes again, running a hand through his crisp red hair.
“I’m never letting you do my eyeliner again. I look like a fifteen year old goth girl.”
“But that’s the idea!” Wilford squealed, waving his hands in the air. It made Dark smirk a little.
“The tie, however, is a nice touch.”
Wilford smiled, “I knew you’d like the tie. White suits you!”
Dark’s smirk widened. Wilford loudly clapped his hands together, and stood in front of Dark with a huge grin on his face.
“You wanna know why I dared you to be dressed like this for a month?” he asked.
Dark thought for only a second, “I dunno, to humiliate me in front of everybody else?”
Wilford laughed, and punched Dark’s shoulder.
“You rapscallion, of course not!” he replied. “It’s so it won’t look so obvious to Markiplier that you’re hunting him down~”
Dark snorted. “He already knows, Wilford. Might as well look good doing it-”
Wilford waved his hands at Dark's face.
“No, no, no, I wasn’t done!” he exclaimed. “I wanted you to dress like this because of TWO reasons; Do you know how we look exactly like Markiplier? We’re all basically his doppelgangers! And YOU are one of the most anticipated doppelgangers to try and catch him, but you have always blown your cover. Why, you might ask? Because of the echoes in your voice! Because of the gray skin! Because of the spooky eyeliner under those eye-bags!”
“... What are you saying, Will?” Dark asked slowly. “Are you saying I am not proficient when it comes to trying to get him?”
Wilford’s fingers fiddled.
“Weeeeeeeelllllllll……” His voice was almost squeaking. “Yes, but don’t get pissed! I’m leading into Reason #2!”
Dark sighed, and ran his hand through his hair, and found Bug inside. Wilford reached over to Bug, and set him on the very top of the mirror frame.
“Reason #2,” Wilford started. “Because there are SO many doppelgangers trying to get him, YOU are just the most obvious. SO! You might be the most obvious to try to catch Markiplier, buuuuut, I thought, ‘Hey, Markiplier has been dying his hair a lot, hasn’t he? How about Dark dyes his hair and tries to look like a different doppelganger-iplier completely!’ And here you are!”
Dark took a LONG time to try to process all of that. It… did make more and more sense the more Dark thought about it.
“Well, we already know where he lives now,” Dark said. “I’m off.”
Dark disappears. Wilford could hear an echoed laugh from him once he was no longer seen.
“Oooo,” Wilford shuttered and wrapped his arms around himself. “I just got goosebumps.”
Will waited for Dark, standing stock-still near the doorway for several hours. The others didn’t have him move, knowing he’d get cranky. Dark had never come home victorious before, and was unlikely to today… but Will’d be damned if he didn't see the look on his face when that day finally came.
Suddenly, Dark slammed the door open, almost planting Wilford inside of the wall. Wilford shoved the door off of him, and limped out to see Dark with the most mischievous smile he’s ever seen. He didn’t seem to have Markiplier with him… why is he smiling? Dark started laughing eerily, hugging his stomach. The echoes in his voice sure did help the creep factor. His skin turned back to gray the more he laughed.
“Sooooooooooooooooooo…” Wilford said quietly, poking Dark’s shoulder. “Didja get him?”
Dark hummed a few more laughs, and cleared his throat.
“No,” he said. “But I stuffed red hot chilli peppers in his mouth while he was trying to relax in the pool because of 14 million subscribers~”
Wilford gasped loudly, with a huge smile on his face. He and Dark laughed for the rest of the day.
Chapter 8: Nasty Flashback Dreams
Two years later. Nighttime. Everything was quiet. Peaceful. Still, even.
Dark, was watching the rain from inside his room, with Bug asleep on the window sill. He could hear a door open and close from out in the hallway, and heard quick footsteps to his door. Dark knew what was coming.
“DARK, ABE HAS WORK TONIGHT, SO CAN I SLEEP IN HERE?!” Wilford shouted, panicked. “I SLEEP BETTER WITH SOMEONE IN THE SAME ROOM WHEN THERE’S STORMS, AND-”
“Slow down, Will,” Dark said, turning away from the window. “Do you remember where I keep the spare fold-out bed in here?”
Wilford’s breathing was very shaky, as he was looking around Dark’s room. He eyed over at…
“The closet?” Wilford asked shakily. Dark nodded.
“Always has been, always will be,” he replied.
He looked over at the closet, sniffling quietly. “Okay…”
“Is something wrong, Will?”
“I don’t…” Wilford trailed off, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head.
“I don’t know, honestly,” he replied, with a tiny voice crack. “Storms just make me… very uncomfortable.”
Dark went right on over to his closet to help Wilford unfold the bed from inside.
“I know, Will,” he said. “Be careful with your fingers-”
“The stands are metal, I know.”
Dark quietly sighed through his nose. The storm must have given Wilford a mood.
“I have some quilts in the corner, you’ll have to do without sheets unless you want to make a trip to the laundry room,” Dark replied.
“Can you come with me to get them?” Wilford asked.
“Then no sheets for me.”
Dark huffed out a small laugh as he and Wilford set down the metal stands of the bed on the floor.
When Will flopped down on the bed, Dark picked up a couple of quilts and set him at the madman’s feet. Will looked up at Dark, all innocent-like.
“You aren't going to tuck me in?”
Dark's eyes squinted.
“What are you, five?” he asked. “I’ve seen you cover yourself up before.”
“I’ve seen you go along with a joke before,” Wilford replied, annoyed. Yep. The storm gave Wilford a mood. Dark ignored it, and flew the quilts on top of Wilford's face.
Dark smirked as Wilford didn’t move, blankets still stacked on his face.
“You aren’t going to move all of that?”
He shook his head in mock disgust, muttering, “Such a child” before adjusting the quilts.
He could hear a very tiny giggle from Wilford as he covered him up, but it was interrupted by a loud clash of thunder from outside, making Wilford rush Dark into covering him up while hugging a pillow.
“COVER THE WINDOW, PLEASE!!!” Wilford shrieked. Dark was surprised that his screaming didn’t wake up Bug, nor did the thunder.
“Be calm, Wilford,” Dark said. “Give me some time to get you all situated.”
“CLONE YOURSELF OR SOMETHING!!!” Wilford screamed, face planted into his pillow.
“Wilford, you know I don’t have that ability-”
“I KNOW, IT WAS A JOKE! EVER HEARD OF ONE?!”
Dark felt himself getting tense.
“If you want to stay in here for tonight, you need to behave yourself,” he said, strict. “I know thunderstorms make you uncomfortable, but you HAVE to learn to control yourself during them. You're 125 years old, Wilford.”
“SO?” Wilford asked loudly. His voice was muffled from stuffing his face in the pillow, but he was still very loud. “YOU’RE 97, AND YOU STILL HAVE TROUBLE GETTING YOUR TIE STRAIGHT WITHOUT MY HELP!”
“Just shut up already,” Dark gritted through his teeth.
Will hushed immediately at the next rumble of thunder, letting out a quiet whimper.
“That’s slightly better,” Dark said. “You don’t need me sitting next to you the whole night, right?”
“No,” Wilford said, STILL hugging his pillow. Dark could hear the hoarseness in his voice from all of that screaming. “I just need you in the same room with me. Abe let me sleep in his room tons of times when I was living with him. He had one of those cushion rocking chair thingies, too. I hogged up his bed.”
Dark nodded quietly. “That makes sense. I’ll keep that in mind for me… are you sure you don't need anything else, Will?”
“I’m alright,” Wilford said. “If I end up crying, just shake me. Storms do that to me when I sleep.”
Dark simply threw a thumb-up at him, on his way to draw the curtains to cover up the window. And before Dark even turned back to see Wilford, he was already sound asleep. Dark snorted silently.
The madman’s sleep was disturbed many times, but he still hadn’t woken yet.
Dark was still watching the rain, only peeking through the curtains. He could hear Wilford shuffle around on the bed, while still clutching on his pillow. He was mumbling a lot of nonsense Dark couldn’t catch, probably something about Bim stealing his camera equipment in his dream.
“No… chair doesn’t go there… put it in the pool on the patio… what do you mean the pool’s broken…? pools never break, silly billy… … put it in the golf course, then…”
Dark peered over his shoulder to watch Wilford mumble.
“...so what if Mark’s gonna yell..? it’s just a robe, he has tons of those~”
Dark’s aura wobbled a bit. Nope, he’s not dreaming of Bim. Flashback dreams. They don’t seem to be too bad, though. Wilford isn’t crying at least.
Will let out a confused hum, rolling onto his side. “Damien, what’s with that look… you know I’m right… … you’re right I’m right… Celine is going to love this…”
Dark felt his aura nudging him around, but he kept control, just watching Wilford toss and turn and mumble on his bed. Nothing too tragic about happy flashback dreams, but why is Dark starting to silently lose it? It must be the mentioning of those names that threw him off.
Suddenly, the loudest and brightest clash of lightning flashed outside, making Wilford jolt up, eyes wide open.
“I DIDN’T BREAK LITTLE BUDDY, CHEF, I SWEAR!!!” he screamed.
Dark was too shocked to move, Wilford sitting up and clutching his head. His breathing was off, and his eyes seemed to glitter with tears.
Wilford flinched at Dark’s voice. He looked around the room to try to be more aware of his surroundings. As soon as he saw Dark again, he sighed shakily in relief. He blinked, realizing the tears in his eyes.
“Heh, I don’t… know why I’m crying,” he grinned while wiping his eyes with one of the quilts. “How silly.”
Dark opened his mouth to try to say something, but felt Bug crawl up his arm to his neck, distracting him.
“You were… talking in your sleep,” Dark replied slowly. “A pool breaking, messing with somebody’s robe, and throwing a chair in a golf course.”
Wilford sat up on the edge of the bed, sniffling.
“Huh,” he said. “We don’t have a golf course, though.”
Dark forced a smile.
“I know,” he replied. “Very odd.”
Wilford frowned. “Then… why would I dream about that?”
“I wouldn’t look into it too much,” Dark said, walking right over to Wilford, patting his shoulder. “Just one of those dreams where a bunch of nonsense happens, I suppose.”
Wilford only shrugged. “I guess you’re right. Abe says I talk a lot in my dreams anyway. I’m surprised I never sleep-walk!”
Dark huffed out a small echoey laugh.
“You do move around a lot in your sleep, though,” he replied. “And I don’t mean you just toss and turn in your bed, I literally see you asleep on the kitchen counter in the middle of the night, and then you’re halfway across the other side of the room, sleeping on the stove.”
The madman giggled. “Guilty, very guilty.”
“Ah, you don’t beg to me to believe that you’re innocent?” Dark asked.
“I don’t beg!” Wilford crossed his arms. “I tell them the truth, I am innocent as can be! Sure, I have blood in my hands and my clothes are stained, but… it’s like everybody in the entire world has this disbelief that people don't come back from the dead! I mean, haven’t we all watched a zombie movie once or twice?”
“Yes, but the zombies end up getting killed again either way,” Dark replied.
“Eh,” Wilford shrugged.
An awkward silence filled the room. Dark and Wilford didn't really know what else to say. Wilford didn’t want to go back to sleep, so he just quietly rocked his legs back and forth on the bed. A very low, quiet thunder rumbled outside, making Wilford crawl all over the bed, trying not to scream.
“It’s alright Wilford,” Dark said. “I think the storm is dying down now.”
“How would you know for sure?” Wilford asked. “Weather can be so unpredictable…”
“That’s how you think of it,” Dark replied. “I don’t hear any rain anymore. I think you’ll be alright.”
Wilford didn’t look very convinced, but he nodded, tiredly leaning against Dark’s shoulder.
Out of nowhere, Dark unconsciously starting humming something that caught Wilford’s ears. It wasn’t something familiar, it was… very sweet sounding, actually. Wilford sleepily tapped on Dark’s leg to get his attention.
“What’s that little ditty you’re humming there?” Wilford asked.
Dark’s thumbs fiddled with Bug playfully dodging them in his hands.
“Just a song I heard a while ago,” Dark replied. “I wouldn’t say it’s a lullaby, but it’s very nice to listen to.”
“... Can you sing it?” Wilford asked. “What’s it called?”
Dark took in a small breath through his nose.
“It’s called Life,” he said. “It’s from a musical, actually.”
Wilford’s brows raised.
“I didn’t know you liked musicals,” he replied. “What’s it about?”
“Do you want the short version or the long version?” Dark asked. Wilford yawned. “Too tired for the long version, I see. The musical itself is called ‘Starship’. Just imagine The Little Mermaid, but in space.”
“Oooooo,” Wilford mumbled, obviously trying very hard to stay awake. “Sing Life for me?”
Dark glanced down at Wilford, seeing him practically sprawled all over his legs with Bug sitting on his nose.
“You’re not going to fall asleep while I do it, are you?” Dark asked. Wilford shook his head, ‘no’. That was a lie and Dark totally believed it was. But he sang anyway;
“It’s a big, big universe.
So many dimensions and unanswered questions,
Not to mention, life.
What an invention, life.
There’s no choice involved in what you are given.
One mind, one voice, one body to live in.
The mustached ego’s eyelids drooped, but he smiled softly. It sounded very pretty, and he’d never head Dark sing before.
“That’s lovely,” Wilford mumbled. “You should definitely sing more, my friend. Nighty night~”
Dark snorted. He sat on the spare bed with Wilford on his legs for the rest of the night. It didn’t rain when Wilford woke up in the morning.
Chapter 9: Uncertainty
Will found Dark plopped on the mattress, blacked out asleep. He slowly got up, and left Dark’s room with a small ‘thank you’ note taped on his door. He didn’t even know why he was smiling so widely. He just felt warm. The feeling wore off the more the day went by, though. Wilford wished it stayed, but he was too busy focusing on ideas to try to take over a certain somebody’s YouTube channel~
Still, there was a nagging feeling that Wilford was forgetting something. Something important.
It wasn’t something about an idea, he actually had a wonderful concept for a TV show! It was probably once he realized that Dark’s form hasn’t changed. Another way to put it, Dark hasn’t felt very… feminine over the years. Wilford desperately wanted to ask Dark why, but he didn’t know how to make it sound less gentleman-like. He really missed Dark’s other form, that sometimes, he’d forget what she looked like.
All Wilford knew that Dark was uncomfortable about the subject, which made Will sad. He wanted Dark to be able to feel comfortable about himself, whoever he’d be at the time. And so he made up his mind to gently broach the subject that evening.
Mostly, everybody was out doing their own things on that day, so it was Wilford and Dark were just sitting around casually. Will spotted Dark making himself black coffee in the kitchen. Huffing out a big breath, Wilford strolled right on next to Dark.
“What do you want, Will?” Dark asked.
“Oh, nothing,” Wilford hopped to sit on the counter. “I’ve just been wondering about something for a while-”
“I already know what you’ve been thinking about,” Dark said, making Wilford close his mouth. “I haven’t been feeling the need to change. That is all.”
Dark took his mug of coffee, and walked off. Wilford pouted, knowing Dark would hate it if he insisted to keep asking why.
“It’s my honest answer, Wilford,” Dark called out from down the hallway. “It’s that simple.”
Wilford sighed. “Alright, then.”
Letting out a snort, the Host appeared next to Will (hadn’t he always been there? Wilford wasn’t quite sure), shaking his head in mock disgust. “Is Wilford really just going to let Dark walk around the issue?”
Wilford jumped off of the counter, throwing his hands up in a defensive karate position. “Frickin’ quiet shadow man…”
“Wilford wants to know why Dark hasn’t changed, doesn’t he?” the Host asked. Wilford's arms plopped on his sides, sighing.
“Dark already told me,” he replied. “He hasn’t been feeling it lately.”
“But has Dark really told him?” Host asked. “Wilford knows Dark can lie every once in a while.”
Wilford rolled his eyes. “He’s just being dismissive of it.”
The Host pursed his lips, and tugged at the edge of his cloth. “Well, if Wilford keeps trying to push Dark into talking about it, he’s not going to be very happy.”
Wilford’s eyes narrowed. “What are you suggesting?”
“Oh, the Host is not suggesting anything,” Host said. “He’s just warning you that if Wilford pushed Dark into talking about this subject, they will not be very patient into explaining why.”
Wilford turned to the Host, raising an eyebrow. “Did you just…?”
Host had a small smile on his face. It was a bit creepy with the stained dried blood all over his cloth on his eyes. “Wilford know what the Host said. Dark told the Host they’re genderfluid. They’ve just been feeling more man-like most of the time, but the Host knows there’s something more than that. They don’t want to talk about why they haven’t been the opposite sex, even when their more feminine. So, if Wilford tries to push them into talking about it, it won’t be very pretty.”
Wilford was about to say something, but the Host took all of the words right out of his mouth. He’s right. Wilford has been around Dark for a very long time, so he practically knows how Dark functions on a daily basis.
The blind ego pat Wilford’s cheek affectionately, murmuring, “The Host is sure the two are going to be fine. Wilford always have known what’s best for Dark.”
With that, and another enigmatic smile, he disappeared.
“... I only know what’s good for him, ‘cause it’s my opinion.”
Still, where did that leave him now?
Would Wilford just keep on waiting for Dark to talk about it? Leave a tiny note on his door about the subject? … Go on a friendly walk?
He didn’t even realize that he’d walked into Dark’s room until after the other ego let out a vague noise of surprise.
Chapter 10: Gender Memories Are Jumbled
“Are you…” Dark muttered. “Are you alright, Will?”
Wilford’s fingers fidgeted on his sides. “Oh, uh, I’m okay, Dark! I was just wandering around, is all! I didn’t mean to come in here.”
Dark didn’t do anything, besides Bug twitching an antenna. “Alright, then.”
“Well, actually,” Wilford mused, “Now that I think about it…”
He pulled the darker ego into a warm hug, the same ones you’d give when you were very happy to see someone, or making up after a long argument.
“I’m sorry for prying, Dark. Your business has always been your own, and I’m glad knowing you respect me enough to let me in on things as it is. If you say you don’t want to talk about it, I won’t.”
Dark let out a long sigh, then rested his chin on Wilford’s shoulder.
“I don’t… know how. Changing wasn’t always this difficult,” he whispered quietly, like he was entrusting Wilford with some Great Secret of the Known Universe.
“Well…” Wilford started quietly. “You did say it’s very uncomfortable.”
“But not so uncomfortable that I never wanted to change again,” Dark replied. “I suppose that I never felt so opposite for so long, that I completely forgot how.”
Wilford shrugged, patting Dark’s back. “Makes sense. Maybe if you’re out shopping for lady things, you might feel it?”
Dark chuckled. “I doubt it.”
“Then, maybe we can work backwards,” Will mused. “Figure out how to fix it. When’s the last time you changed?”
Vaguely, Dark blushed.
Their hug departed, with Dark looking down at his feet. Wilford was patient.
“Six years ago,” Dark mumbled. Obviously trying to hide his surprise, Wilford clapped his hands together, half-improvising an idea.
“OKAY, SO!” he started. “The LAST time you changed was SIX years ago, and I guess that was the last time you felt like a lady…?”
Dark nodded, just going along. Wilford snapped a finger. “Riiiiigggghhhhht…… how are we gonna do this…”
Wilford had two of his fingers pressed against his lips for about a minute. “Well, WHY was it the last time you changed? What were you doing then? What were you feeling?”
“I feel like it might have made the others a bit confused,” Dark said. “And since this entire place is getting more crowded by the minute, there is no meaning of privacy anymore. I liked changing when I was alone. I stopped once those androids came along.”
“Nice video game reference,” Wilford said.
Will pat his friend’s arm.
“Screw them, Dark,” he said. “You’re their leader, and they should respect you whether you are a man, or a lady.”
Dark had no idea what to say to that. Wilford’s older self was showing.
“ANYWAY, ANSWER THE NEXT QUESTION!”
“Please stop yelling at me,” Dark muttered. “The last time I changed was when I was… doing… something. I’m not entirely sure what, but it had to be something about… something. I felt very tired.”
Wilford tilted his head. “And..?”
“And…” Dark sighed. He shook his head. “That was it. I changed, sticking to this form for six years.”
Wilford’s brows narrowed slowly. “Do you want to change again?”
“Of course I do,” Dark replied. “I’m able to take whatever form I please, But with the form that is my opposite sex… I just can’t. I completely forgot how to.”
His eyes welled with frustrated tears, and Dark realized that he was wringing the knot of his tie. He stopped.
“I don’t... I can’t, I don’t know how anymore, and it’s really messing with me.”
“That’s alright though,” Wilford’s hand gently squeezed on Dark’s arm. “I forget how I do stuff all the time, and I remember after almost a decade of how to do a thing! Hell, twenty three years have passed, and I still don’t know how to tie sneaker shoes! And that’s a record!”
Dark nudged Wilford’s hand off of his arm, trying to swallow a hearty laugh.
“Quite a long time to forget how to tie your shoes.”
“It beats six years of forgetting how to change your ghostly body into the opposite sex whenever you feel like it~” Wilford winked.
“Well, it’s true!” Wilford exclaimed. “You are the least forgetful person I know! You have helped me remember so many little things!”
Dark shook his head. “And yet, I can’t even do this for myself.”
“Nonsense.” Wilford looked at Dark in the eyes. “It’s just going to take a while for you to feel that little spark again. Trust me on that.”
Dark sighed, looking down at the floor again, forming a small smile on his face.
“Thank you for that, Will. I didn’t know I needed it.”
Wilford smiled widely, and threw his arms around Dark for another hug. “You’re welcome.”
It took Dark a few moments to respond, his teary laughter being muffled into Will’s shoulder. The other ego was on his tiptoes, squeezing the life out of Dark.
“You’re crushing me,” Dark wheezed. “Stop it. Stop it, please.”
Wilford’s grip loosened slightly. Not entirely, but at least it loosened. A bit. It just comes to show that Wilford is one hell of a hugger when he wants to be. His cheeky grin told Dark he wasn’t sorry, though.
“Thank you for telling me all this.”
“You’re welcome, friend,” Wilford replied.
Immediately, Wilford and Dark’s hug departed, with Dark’s door opening.
“Are we interrupting anything?” Four robot voices spoke at the same time, almost harmonizing besides some glitching.
Chapter 11: Newbies!!! ...Kind of!!!
“Are we interrupting anything?” Four robot voices spoke at the same time, almost harmonizing besides some glitching. Dark cleared his throat, with Bug tucking inside of his collar.
“No,” he replied. “Will and I just finished a conversation. Come in.”
The Googles didn’t look like they believed him, but didn’t press.
“We have new arrivals after that charity livestream Markiplier has done,” the Google Gang said in unison. Wilford’s eyes lit up.
“How many??” he asked.
“Four,” the robots all replied. “One of them claims to be an ‘original ego’.”
“Oh, really?” Wilford asked, arms crossed. “What’s their name?”
The robots all looked at each other.
“Santaplier,” the Gang answered, flatly. Wilford’s expression changed, almost about to burst laughing.
“How funny,” he tried fighting his laugh. “I KILLED Santa Clause!”
“Well, he's back,” the Google Gang said. “And he’s thinner and grumpier than ever.”
Wilford cleared his throat loudly, fighting his laugh as hard as he could. “What are the other three’s names?”
“Randall Voorhees, Derek Derekson, and his youngest son, Eric.”
“WAIT A SEC,” Wilford shouted. “His YOUNGEST son? Dark, do we have an age restriction here?”
Dark shrugged. “Not that I know of. Yandere was 17 when she came here, so, I see nothing wrong with a younger-”
“Perfect!” Wilford clapped his hands. “I don’t care how old he is, he’s accepted anyway!”
“They're all outside waiting for you both,” the Google Gang informed. “You shouldn’t waste your time just standing in here, they’re waiting for the tour.”
“Alright, alright, we’re going,” Wilford pushed past the four androids, and yanked Dark along with him by the arm. “Come along, Dark. We’re the masters of touring the newbies.”
“Alright then,” Dark replied. The Googles followed them, shutting Dark’s door from behind.
“... Why do I have the feeling that Wilford will like Eric more than the others?” Oliver, the Yellow Google asked. Red (Elliot), Green (Lenny), and Blue (Gordon) Google all shrugged.
Wilford’s squeals of delight and welcome were far higher pitched than normal. He resisted the urge to snicker, standing at attention and clasping his hands behind his back. Will was already hugging a young man in a grey sweater; his glasses were fogged up over his blush.
“Uh… H- Hello to you t- too?” the young man said. His voice was a mix of very low and very squeaky, with LOTS of nervous stutters. He looked around Yandere’s current age, 19 or 20.
Wilford’s tight hug departed from the newbie, immediately shaking hands with him, to a man in an American flag and money patterned buttoned shirt, to a blonde man with a black sweater and construction hat on, and…
“Heyy, Santa…” Wilford introduced himself, shakily holding out his hand. “Sorry that I killed you last Christmas…”
Santaplier just sneered at Wilford, practically crushing his hand. Wilford toughened up, trying to hide his expressive pain in his hand by walking right on over to Dark.
“You can say hi now.”
“Thanks for letting me know about Santa’s rage-hand shake,” Dark whispered. Wilford playfully punched Dark’s arm, only to find out that it was the same hand Santa crushed, silently wincing in pain.
Dark snickered. “Poor thing. Need a kiss to make it better?”
Will’s annoyed expression melted into a teasing grin. “Oh, you wish, Darkie~”
Dark smirked, shaking hands with the newcomers, but hesitated to do so with the youngest looking one.
“You must be Eric,” Dark said, making him flinch. He was clutching onto a yellow cloth. He was terrified of Dark, to say the least.
“Um… I- I- I, uh…”
The man in the American flag/dollar patterned shirt elbowed the youngest one’s back harshly.
“I- I’MERICDEREKSON!” he exclaimed, stiffing out an arm right in front of Dark’s face. Dark slowly took his hand, and shook it gently.
“Nice to meet you,” he said. Eric just nodded, with an edge of his mouth twitching. Dark peered over his shoulder to look at Wilford. He’s looking at Eric with clear concern.
Eventually, they did the tour around the apartment buildings, and introduced the newbies to the oldies, the usual when it comes to having new Egos.
Once Randall and Bingiplier met, it was like a match made in heaven. They both called each other “bro” when they first laid eyes on each other. Now the Ego team is about to have twice as much as annoying “bro” and meme talk around the place.
Santaplier stuck with the King of the Squirrels, just playing around with the squirrels, and glaring intensely at Wilford the entire time.
Derek Derekson and Eric… they both stayed together the entire tour, but not in a way that would be like the “inseparable friends that are very close” kind of stayed together. Derek looked like he was forcing Eric to stay with him, by harshly tugging on his sleeves, and quietly saying that he’ll rip off Eric’s prosthetic legs if he doesn't stick close. Both Wilford and Dark noticed, and Wilford was FURIOUS the second Derek and Eric found themselves a free room to stay in.
“Can you believe him?!” Wilford shouted, pacing in Dark’s room. “He is such a Two-Face!! Why would Markiplier ever come up with such an asshole?!”
“And just by looking at him, Eric seems to have a few issues with him,” Dark replied, leaning on his bed. “Or at least, I think so.”
Wilford violently turned to Dark with a dumbfounded look on his face.
“Look,” Dark said placidly, trying his best not to show his own interest in the boy. “If it makes you feel better, we’ll make sure Eric ends up with someone like Randall did with Bing. Just… don’t tell the salesman until after, alright? We have enough to deal with.”
“I don’t even know if the poor thing is that outgoing to be with a bunch of kooks like the rest though,” Wilford mumbled. “I’m pretty sure Derek beats him when nobody is looking. Once I find him by himself, I’m gonna give him a piece of my mind! I’m shocked to say, he’s a probably a worse dad than Edgar!!”
“If you’re so protective of Eric all of the sudden, then why don’t you be with him more?” Dark asked. “Randall has already found a friend, Santa has found one too, Derek might bump into one of the Googles, or might even team up with Edgar… Eric might be an alright fit with you.”
Wilford’s face softened.
“I can see you two becoming friends,” he replied. “Once Eric gets more comfortable around us, at least.”
Dark smirked, turning his back to Wilford. “Besides, Will, given his extremely cautious personality, if you be around him, I might not have to constantly babysit you anymore.”
The reporter whined.
“That’s not a very nice think to say, Daaaaaarrrrk!” Wilford fluffed Dark’s hair, whining in a playful tone. Dark bapped Wilford’s hand away.
“I know it will be nice of you to be around someone who has been - supposedly - abused all his life,” he said. “He’ll need someone to be around him that isn't his own dad, but can act like one. You can be very ignorant and idiotic at times, but you can be very clever and calm when you need to be. And Eric himself looks sane enough to know what is right and what is wrong so he can keep track of you when I’m being too busy.”
He could tell Wilford liked this idea, because he didn’t complain or try to playfully smack him.
“... Do you think I’d make a good dad, Dark?” Wilford asked. Dark opened his mouth, only to say nothing.
“I’d... like to think so,” he said, looking down at the floor. He felt a bit of his aura nerving around, remembering something.
“Celine, how would you feel if I told you I want to be a father? ”
“... A bit conflicted, if you’re serious! ”
“I am! ”
“Who do those little voices belong to in that head of yours, Dark?” Wilford asked, making Dark flinch violently.
“Nobody important, Will,” he said. Wilford cocked a brow, but didn’t insist. He shrugged, and strolled over to the door.
“Welp,” he started. “I’m gonna go and pay Eric a little visit~”
Will and Dark both saluted to each other, and Wilford shut the door behind him. Dark felt Bug pop out of his collar, and hop on over to the window to sleep on the sill.
Dark reached over and stroked Bug's shell once, like one would pet a cat.
“I think he could be a dad,” Dark murmured. “He’s certainly got the enthusiasm…”
He continued having a quick memory of Will on a certain particular day as he looked out the window.
“ ... I don’t believe this. I can't be… ”
“ Me neither. And we have no money to adopt either. ”
“ I knew it, somehow. Of all the times we tried, I knew it would never work. ”
“ ... I’m so sorry, Celine. I feel like I’ve rushed you into this so much. ”
“ It’s alright, William. It was never your fault. ”
“ If you say it’s your fault instead, I am going to insist that it was mine. ”
Dark let out a small laugh at the memory, realizing that his voice was a lot less lower. He felt something rise up in his chest. Bug started hopping around the window sill like crazy, as Dark felt himself change in a not-so-comfortable way, but comfortable enough not to cringe too much at. Dark eyed over at a mirror in her room, and smiled.
“Took me long enough.”
Chapter 12: "She's A Lady- OOH OOH OOH"
She looked more or less like Celine again, but she was still… herself. There was no question that it was Dark, even if you had to squint, and for some reason that made her smile, her hand tracing her cheek.
Dark wondered what Wilford would think about this, and that made her stomach clench.
What would his first reaction be? What would he do? What would he say? Would he say something really half-assed like, “Hey, you did it, I’m proud of you”?
Honestly, even if Dark has known Wilford throughout literally all his life, she had no idea what he would do if he would see her in her Celine form again… But none of this has to do with Wilford, this is Dark’s own body! What does Wilford have to do with it…?
Dark then spotted Wilford and Eric outside, strolling around a sidewalk at the center of the apartment buildings, with the light poles shining all around. It looks like they’re getting along well. Dark held Bug in her hands, watching them from the window.
He was talking in his normal, albeit excitable way, hands waving around and eyes bright. But he always let Eric get his own word in, and occasionally the boy would laugh, which made Wilford beam.
Dark felt funny, watching that. “What’s going on, Bug?”
An answer from the doorway made her nearly drop the cockroach. “Dark’s a grown woman, and she knows exactly what’s going on. She just doesn’t want to admit it.”
“... What are you doing in my room, Host?”
“Oh, nothing,” Host replied, leaning on Dark’s doorway with a knowing smirk. “Just observing.”
“Well, it’s none of your business.”
The blind ego chuckled. “Dark was taking too long to figure it out, the Host had to give them both some sort of a nudge.”
Dark turned to him, brows narrowed. “What are you saying?”
“What the Host is trying to hint to Dark is, Dark likes Wilford more than they think they do,” the Host said, losing his cool. “God, is it really that hard for them to figure it out?”
Dark blinked. What the Host just said almost made her head spin.
“I’ve always liked Wilford, Host,” she said. “But just because I’ve known him all his life, it doesn’t mean I-”
“Come on,” the Host had his arms crossed. “Dark is in love, they just have to admit it to Wilford already.”
Dark felt herself getting tense. “I can’t!”
“I just- I can’t- I can’t tell him, it… it might throw him in a loop.”
Dark caught herself wanting to shy away, and took in a deep, shaky breath, clenching her fists. “Why do you even care?”
The Host sighed, his head turning off to the side. “The Host is tired of you two running in circles. How long has it been since Dark has been ‘watching over’ Wilford? Ever since the Host has arrived here, the two have been more sarcastic and somewhat affectionate towards each other. It’s like the both of them don’t even notice it, and it’s been TEASING the Host.”
Bug hopped off of Dark’s shoulders to land on the window sill as her hands started to spark of tiny reds and blues.
“The Host keeps asking himself, ‘Why don’t they just bang already?’”
“‘Just kiss already!’”
There was a gaping, burning hole now in Dark’s room, inches from the Host’s head. Her cheeks stung. She was probably crying. “Just… shut up…”
Host looked almost sad. “Dark can’t hide how they feel from him forever.”
“I’ve been doing it for nearly a century.”
“Yes. And it’s killing him.”
“You don’t know that,” Dark snapped.
“Hey, the Host may not be able to make everything he wants to happen just by writing something anymore,” the Host started. “But he sure as all hell can read Wilford’s mind. He has known Dark for so long and how they work, Dark doesn’t realize how much Wilford wants to push himself to ask them so many questions. And Dark doesn’t even answer most of them honestly.”
“Because he has been through so many things that even you won’t be able to comprehend,” Dark said. “If I tell him the truth of our history, he will have breakdowns like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve seen the possibilities in dreams before. I have been protecting him from the truth for almost a century, ever since I was created. He probably won’t even talk to me anymore if I tell him the truth.”
The Host didn’t do anything.
“The Host doesn’t know how Dark’s history goes with Wilford,” he said. “But the Host knows that eventually, Wilford wants to talk with Dark, no matter if it’s something that makes them uncomfortable, or if it’s something they’ve been hiding from him. Since Dark knows everything, they should consider telling him some time.”
Both Host and Dark could hear Wilford and Eric coming inside from downstairs. The Host turned to Dark. “Think about it.”
He walks off.
Dark closed the door quietly behind him, making hardly a sound. Dark wished she’d slammed it. She was glad she didn’t.
Bug skittered up to her, ending up on her hand, antennas twitching. He cuddled up to her in his own insect way. Dark sighed, walking over to her window sill and sitting on the ledge.
“What do you think I should do, Bug?”
Bug just hopped and skittered his wings. Morse Code for “I’m not sure.”
Dark sighed. She looked over to the newly formed hole next to the door, seeing it wasn’t there anymore. She could hear Wilford and Eric walking past her room.
“Say, Eric, how would you feel if I wanted you as my next interviewee for my show?”
“R- Really?? Y- You really want me to?”
“Of course! But we could make it a private lost episode, where just you and me can watch it whenever we want. Whaddya say?”
“S- Sure! I’d… really like that!”
“I knew you would! Now, you can’t tell your father about this, because this is something between you and me, alright?”
“I’m n- not really the best at k- keeping secrets, b- but, I’ll try!”
Just hearing about Wilford’s enthusiasm with this boy has made Dark’s chest feel warm. She heard Wilford and Eric saying their goodnights to each other, and could sense Wilford walking past her room again. He suddenly opened the door, making Dark flinch.
“He likes me, Dark!” he exclaimed. He didn’t come in. “I think this is going to work!”
Dark snapped her fingers twice. A nonverbal sign that she agrees. Wilford shoves a thumbs up in her room, and shuts the door. “Goodnight~!”
Closing her eyes and hugging her waist tightly, Dark leaned against the window, her back to the door.
She really didn’t want to tell him.
She had to tell him.
“... Will? Are you still there?”
Scuffling. Pausing. “Yeah?”
“Can- would you shut the door behind you when you come in… please?”
Wilford is quiet. He cracks the door open, poking his head back in. Dark turned to him, forcing a smile. Wilford skitters inside, closing the door behind him with a proud grin on his face. “I knew you could do it…!”
Chapter 13: The Reason Why This Fic Is So Long
Dark let out a tiny laugh, feeling her heart sink.
“Sit, Will,” she said. Wilford put a finger against his lips. He was suddenly a lot closer to her than he was before.
“Before we get to that,” he said. “How do you feel? Was it as uncomfortable as it was before?”
Dark held Wilford’s finger away from her face, trying to think of what to say.
“I was just remembering,” she said. “Some things from the past that made me feel bittersweet, and such. I didn’t really feel anything.”
Wilford had his chin resting on his index fingers, taking that in. “I’ll take it!”
Dark forced a grin again. “Now… sit.”
Wilford hopped on the top of Dark’s bed, with his legs crossed. “Lemme guess; you wanna talk about something important?”
“Well, I don’t want to,” Dark said, scratching her neck. “But I just feel the need to after a little conversation with Host.”
“Alrighty then!” Wilford exclaimed. “Come sit and shoot the word!”
Dark clasped her hands together, biting the bottom of her lip. She felt scared.
“Do you… remember that day we met Bug in the junkyard? And how I left so quickly?”
Wilford blinked. He made little faces to himself, trying to remember. “A little bit… I gave you a rose, I think.”
“You did,” Dark said. “I told you I had to leave because I had to find Markiplier, and we still do, but… that was a lie.”
Wilford’s head tilted. “Oh?”
Dark had no idea how to start this.
“I…” she looked away, her eyes stinging. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, Will, but I felt like I was dying in there. I couldn’t take another moment.”
Wilford was VERY quiet. “... Should I ask why?”
Dark shrugged. “Just… the things you have said about what you have done, the killing, the traveling, the countless spouses you’ve slept with, befriending a detective who was intending to put you in jail, the same supernatural things that you and I share, your age, your name… I wanted to leave so badly because I couldn’t stand what this significant incident has done to you.”
Wilford leaned closer to her. “What was it?”
They both just looked at each other in the eyes for a moment. Dark gives Wilford her hand.
“Let me show you.”
Hesitating for a moment, she looked up at Wilford only after he squeezed his hand comfortingly. “Do you trust me?”
“Always,” he answered, without hesitation. That was probably a mistake.
Dark closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. She felt Wilford’s grip in her hands tighten as they both felt themselves float to their feet on a concrete ground. The two open their eyes, to see a huge mansion in front of them. Wilford’s eyes widened.
“Ooooooh!” he exclaimed. “This place looks lovely!”
Dark pursed her lips, forcing another smile again. “You used to live here.”
Wilford turned to her. “Really? I never would have guessed!”
“Yes… let’s… let’s go inside.”
He let out a gasp of approval when they walked in, drinking in the interior. Dark tried not to smile. She watched Wilford practically run around all over the manor, glamouring over every single thing he could find.
“Dark, look! I found an old creepy chef toy!”
Wilford eventually went outside, and found a gazebo, a golf course, an oversized chess board, and a pool with a functioning fountain! Dark had no idea how the pool was still so clean after all these years. Once the two went back inside, Wilford was still roaming around, playing with ceiling party lights in a certain living room, deconstructing a knight statue and dressing himself up as it, played on a piano terribly, and slid upwards a staircase railing, with Dark following close behind.
“Why are we here, Dark?”
That caught her by surprise.
“To… give you more insight on your own history, and why you are the way you are… because of me. And get off that railing, you’re going to fall.”
Dark could hear the small uncertainty in Wilford’s voice as he hopped off of the railing. She took another deep breath, scripting out what she has to say in her head. She knew Wilford wasn’t interrupting her.
“We… I was created here. You knew me before I was me.”
“... I almost flaked out, what?? ”
Dark sighed, and took Will’s hand. She led him into a room, and shut the door behind her.
“This was your bedroom,” she said. “You would sit and write poems in here all the time. I’m sure you’ve kept them in that desk over there.”
Explaining how you came to be before telling your closest friend everything they couldn’t remember from their past might not be the greatest way to start. Because… ghosts, and possessions, and whatnot…
Wilford looked around the room, his expression curiously resembling that of a goldfish’s. “Why can’t I remember it, then?”
Dark fiddled with her fingers. “Because… you haven’t been in here for a long time, let alone this entire house. As I’ve said, you used to live here, ever since you were a toddler.”
“Well, my memories got very jumbled after a while,” Wilford said. “I guess it shows.”
“That’s one of the worst parts of being immortal, I suppose,” Dark replied.
Wilford walked over to the desk Dark pointed at, and shook open a bottom drawer. Dust flew, but it didn’t bother Wilford at all. He sat down on his knees, and dug through the drawer to pick up a pile of old, dusty papers.
“Huh. Are you sure I wrote a lot of things, Dark? None of this is my handwriting.”
“It was different back then,” was all she could say. “You changed so much about yourself, Will.”
“I really like it,” Wilford said. “I never had the time to actually try to think back of how I was before… before…… I don’t even know what.”
Dark swallowed a chuckle. “Well… I’m going to try to tell you about it all.”
Wilford stood up with his papers in his hands. “... How do you know about my entire history? You’re younger than me.”
“I’m younger than you because I became a real, physical being in 1922,” Dark replied. “I am much older than you think.”
She patted on Wilford’s old bed, wanting him to sit. Will scattered his paper pile on the bed so he could read the things he wrote while listening.
“You probably won’t be able to pay much attention like that, Will,” Dark said. “... After all, I won’t be telling you all of this…”
Wilford’s head tilted at that. He blinked only once, and found himself standing in his room, but everything looked a lot cleaner. Less dusty. Wilford looked down, and found himself wearing something entirely different. The only thing that remained the same was his pink curly mustache.
Dark was nowhere to be found.
“You’ll be taking a looooooong adventure through it.”
Chapter 14: Welcome to Flashback Land
When Will murmured, “I like adventures… but why aren’t you with me? ” he flinched and clutched his throat. Even his voice was different.
Loud booming music was coming from downstairs, and Wilford could hear people cheering and laughing.
“Hey, Colonel!” A voice from outside of the bedroom called out. “Why aren’t you enjoying the party out here with me??”
Who’s ‘Colonel’? What kind of a name is that?
Before Wilford could say anything, he heard a voice from… somewhere near him?? He felt something move around his body as if he was a hologram, and saw somebody dressed in the same outfit as he was walking to the door.
“Because I know you’ll steal my thunder.”
“C’mon, you know my ego isn’t THAT big~”
“Says the man who owns twenty pictures of himself all around the place.”
Wilford was frozen, fingers twitching. He suddenly heard two voices in his head. They’re both Dark’s, but… not quite?
“Sorry if you want to move around, Will. It will have to take a moment for your body to process with the past. You will move eventually.”
Will just nodded.
“I’ll be down in a minute, Mark.”
The door shut, with the similarly dressed man slumped, sitting down on his bed. Wilford felt his legs go less numb, so he took small steps to the man. As soon as he was right in front of him, Wilford instinctively knew who this man was; His past self.
Wilford kneeled down in front of him, and waved his hand in front of his face. No reaction. He looked really tired. His black mustache was almost covering up his entire mouth, drooping downward.
The man - William - was looking at a photograph, sighing fondly.
“Soon, Celine,” he said. “I’ll be out of this mess soon enough…”
He looked up, and for a moment Wilford thought he met his eyes. He watched him take a long sigh, and stood up, making Wilford flinch up to his feet. He felt his past self walk past him again, leaving the room. Wilford didn’t know if he should stay in the room or leave.
“You can leave the room if you want to, Will,” Wilford heard Dark’s voices in his head again. “Nobody will see you.”
“Dark? ” God, hearing his voice not being so wobbly felt weird.
“Yes? ” There was nothing but the utmost patience.
“Who is Celine? ”
“... You’ll see.”
Wilford then ran through the door to go downstairs to follow his past self, only to find that he was lost in a sea of people… SO many people… Even if he wasn’t physically there, Wilford felt as if people were shoving him up against a wall. He planted his entire back on it, and slithered his way near a familiar room with a fireplace. It was the same room where he was messing around with the ceiling party lights!!
Wilford finally spotted William, standing in front of the fireplace, with a small crowd surrounding him. It looked like he was telling a story as if he was stuck in some sort of board game…
Someone with their back to him flipped off a guy in a detective’s outfit. A dapper man next to them burst into violent giggles.
The man in the detective outfit looked strikingly like Abe, but much less tired and younger. Wilford wanted to say hello, but just remembered what Dark said about nobody seeing him. Right.
“I heard a bunch of rustling all over me, so I did what any body who was in the army would do; pull out my gun from my boot, and look around! Then, before I knew it, lightning almost hit me right on the head! I ran like mad!!”
… Yup, that sounds like me, Wilford thought, reminding himself of his astraphobia.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a man with a shiny red robe lunged an arm over William’s shoulder, interrupting his story.
“And then a hurricane of bats swarmed him out of Jumanji, the end!” he exclaimed. “Nice story, Colonel! Tell us about that one time a tiger almost leapt on you while you were on the hunt for the scary bad guys in the war!”
Wilford grimaced. “Oh, I don’t like him.”
“You never did, he was your twin brother.”
“That explains it.”
William/Wilford’s twin brother started to get all of the attraction from the crowd, leading them all outside of the room. Wilford spotted a woman in a black dress with a white star pattern, remaining. She looked a lot like Dark’s female side.
“This ALWAYS happens, Mark!!” William shouted, obviously not getting his brother’s attention at all. “Why do you always smuggle the spotlight from me?!”
“Maybe because he always says that since he’s 12 minutes older than you, that makes him the better twin?” the woman asked, getting both William and Wilford’s attention. William’s face softened, just by looking at her. Wilford could DEFINITELY see why.
“I thought you weren’t coming tonight,” he said. The woman shrugged, smiling sweetly.
“I had second thoughts,” she replied. “Parties were never my favorite things, but then my brother kept convincing me.”
Wilford and William both laughed at the same time. “Figures!”
William grinned. “I’m glad you were able to come, Celine. Things are never quite as fun without you joining in on it.”
The young woman smiled, and her cheeks darkened for a moment. Apparently the Colonel noticed, because he smiled again.
“Would you like to go and fetch something to eat?” he asked. “My treat.”
The woman - Celine - thought for a minute. “Tell me how you really got out of that board game Jumanji, and then ice cream?”
Both Wilford and William’s faces lit up. “Your wish is my command~!”
YES! I really wanted to know the ending! Wilford grinned. He followed his past self and Celine all around the house, until he felt some kind of a force field at the gates.
“Aww, what the hell! ” Wilford exclaimed, watching William and Celine walk off past the gates to a motorcycle.
“You’re not allowed to leave the house, unfortunately,” Dark said. “But you can at least reminisce on how your brother was so egotistical. Maybe even more than you~”
Wilford crossed his arms and pouted out his lip. Bully.
If Dark were physically there, the being would have winced. “Let’s move on then, Will. Perhaps get yourself more familiar with the other guests? ”
Wilford rolled his eyes, and gave in. “Only to be around the Abe-looking fella. I like him.”
“That’s because it IS him, Will.” Wilford could just feel Dark’s sassy side in that.
Wilford grinned. “Great! I’m off! ”
Wilford ran off to find Abe and screw around with him for the rest of the night. Obviously, Abe didn’t notice him at all, but Wilford found it fun to try to plop his hat on top of his head, but it just falls right through him.
“How long has it been, Dark? I feel like I’ve been here for days.”
“Fours hours, Wilford,” Dark said. “But don’t worry. 5 years is a whole day in the present.”
“Whoa… How do I eat? ”
“That’s not important.”
“No, I’m serious, how do I eat? I haven’t eaten anything for a day.”
“I’ll order something. ”
Not a moment later, Will’s favorite food appeared next to his elbow. The madman shrieked.
“THERE’S SO MUCH CANDY AND MINTS!!!! ” Hearing his old voice exclaiming something like that was VERY weird, but Wilford didn’t care. There was so much candy and mints! There was even a mini chocolate fountain!! Wilford threw his hands all over the table, only to see he’s grabbing nothing. Wilford is heartbroken by this.
“DARK, I CAN’T GET THE CANDY AND MINTS!! ” he sobbed. “I’M SO HUNGRYYYYYYY!!! ”
“Stand still, Wilford,” Dark said. “Open your mouth for me real quick.”
Wilford suddenly felt a tiny little something plop in his mouth. Without even chewing, he swallowed it whole. “How…? ”
“Don’t look into it too much, Will. You’re going against your own philosophy.”
“... Right.” A quick moment of silence, besides the crowd of people chatting up a storm. “Can I have more? ”
After about 50 more pieces of candy, Wilford spotted his past self coming back in the house without Celine. He looked so smitten, his face was pure red with a VERY wide smile. Wilford giggled. “Looks like somebody’s in looooove~”
It only took Wilford a second to realize that it was HIM. Woops.
“Yes,” Dark replied. “You were head over heels for her. But there was a problem with that, sadly.”
Will looked up from his mints. “What? ”
“She’s engaged to Mark.”
Wilford spat out a peppermint. “WHAT?! ”
“They’re wedding will be in a month. Do you want me to speed time over to it? ”
Chapter 15: Weddings Are Overrated
Wilford found himself in a different outfit, but he was still wearing his colonel hat. He was standing outside from a crowd. Wilford stepped away from his past self, to take a look at him. Black suit, pink bowtie, colonel hat, rose red tinted sunglasses, a droopy mustache, and a sad, jealous expression. Wilford put two fingers near William’s eyes, dragging them over to where he was looking at… Celine.
She was wearing a long, white dress with black roses hanging near her hips. Her hair was permed around the tips. Wilford felt his chest convulsing all around.
“She looks lovely,” he said quietly.
“Colonel!” a voice exclaimed. “Are you coming to celebrate?”
A man dressed with slicked back hair in a white suit with a black bowtie ran over to William with two martini glasses. “I got you a drink!”
“... I’m not thirsty, Damien.”
The other man frowned. “I never thought I’d hear you say that, Colonel.”
“Well…” William looked down to his feet with his arms crossed. “I never had a liking for weddings.”
“But this is a wedding for your brother and my sister!” Damien exclaimed. “Aren’t you happy for them? We’re brothers-in-law now!”
William patted Damien’s shoulder. “And I’m glad for that. But…”
He looked back over to Celine, who was dancing with Mark with a big smile on her face. Wilford saw his past self quease a little bit.
“Can we talk inside?” William asked. “I need to say something to you where it’s private.”
William wrapped his arm around Damien, with the both of them walking inside the house, away from the party. As much as he wanted to watch Celine dancing, Wilford followed almost immediately. William looked a bit sad, but he put on a smile for Damien.
Wilford followed them to William’s bedroom, and scooted inside as soon as the door was about to close. The two sit down on the bed, as Wilford sits on the floor with his legs crossed.
“I have… liked Celine for a long while,” William said. “I always had this little fascination with her ever since I laid eyes on her.”
Wilford eyed over to Damien. He’s listening very intently.
“She… makes me feel all light in my chest, and she makes me smile a lot…”
Damien put down his glass, clasping his hands. His eyes were sad. “Why did you never say so before?”
William’s breathing was slightly shaking. Wilford could tell his past self was nervous. “I was afraid that… you wouldn’t be very approving. You gave Mark your blessing, after all…”
Damien was very quiet. Both of them were. Damien then patted William’s leg, making him flinch a tiny bit. “You know what? I never liked the idea of Mark and Celine being together. Celine loves Mark with all her heart, and I respect Celine’s choices, but… I feel like she could do better. I only gave Mark my blessing so I wouldn’t make him feel awful for the rest of his life, or… give him the idea to run away with my sister to God-knows-where.”
“You do realize we can never say anything about this to them, right? She’s happy. That’s all that matters…” When Damien opened his mouth to respond, William shook his head. “Never tell them, Damien.”
Damien let out a quiet sigh. “As much as I want to, I won’t say anything.”
William smiled. He takes Damien’s hand, and shook it. “That’s a promise. Thank you, friend.”
Both of the friends smiled.
Wilford just sat on the floor, silent. "I told her, didn’t I? "
Dark was silent, if only for a moment. “Yes. Yes, you did.”
Wilford looked up around him, as if he’s speaking to an imaginary friend. “Can you show me the moment? ”
Chapter 16: Falling In Love with the Past
Before he knew it, Wilford was in ANOTHER outfit, but didn’t bother to observe it. He saw himself next to William and Celine sitting outside at the same black gazebo Wilford messed around in before.
“So… two years, eh? How is that working for you two?”
“It’s… It’s alright. Mark has just been… busy with his job, so I don’t see him as much as I thought.”
She sighed, turning away from the Colonel so he couldn’t see her upset expression.
Wilford fidgeted uncomfortably. “That’s quite a shame. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.”
“He doesn’t know what he’s missing,” William said, making Wilford gasp loudly.
“That’s what I said!! ”
“Great minds think alike,” Dark said.
Celine giggled, making William and Wilford’s heart leap. “I should have thought about the implications when I said y- …”
Wilford watched the two look at each other for two split seconds. “Nevermind.”
“It’s alright,” William assured. “ I should have thought about the implications when I got sucked into the board game, Jumanji.”
He smiled widely as he heard Celine laugh again, while Wilford felt butterflies in his stomach. He is so in love.
Dark chuckled in the background, not unkindly. “Watch closely, Will.”
Wilford glued his eyes on his past self and his new secret crush. William quickly leaned over, and pecked Celine’s cheek. He pulled back, turtling his entire neck into his collar, with his face as red as… Mars.
“Sorry about that. I just… felt the urge.”
Celine covered her mouth with her hand, smiling quietly. Her cheeks were just as red, if not redder, than William’s.
Wilford was completely ecstatic, throwing his hands in the air. “You go, me!! Who knew I was such a love-boat?? No wonder I was always a hopeless romantic! ”
“Hey…” Celine said quietly, making both the Wills look at her. “Do you want to… go… get some ice cream? Once we get back, we could… make fun of Mark in his movies.”
William felt a smile creep up on his face. “I’d like that.”
Wilford silently cheered in between them.
Dark cleared his throat. “Two months later…”
The two of them were standing in a dark hallway. William had pinned Celine to a wall - she looked like she was holding in a laugh - while mischief was written plain across the Colonel’s face.
“OH…” Wilford clamored. “How the hell did adorable ice cream dates lead up to this…? ”
“Just by going on more secret dates and starting to have sexual attraction. It happens,” Dark said. “You were a bit ashamed of it, but you loved it. How ironic~”
Wilford nodded, trying to keep his eyes away from the two secret lovers. “Right…”
“I’m not trying to embarrass you with this, Will,” Dark said. “I’m just giving you more and more insight in your history, leading to me being created. Don’t take this the wrong way as we go along.”
“It’s alright, Dark,” Wilford replied, covering his eyes. “I think I get it… Can you just… skip to another moment? Please? ”
Without saying anything, Dark sped to a month afterwards. Wilford spotted Celine, sitting on the couch, crying. He (and William) walked right on over to try to know what’s wrong. Celine had her face covered with her hands. William sat down next to her, while Wilford sat on the glass table. It’s not like he was actually there or anything, so there was no need to worry about it breaking.
Chapter 17: The Day That Destroyed the King
“Celine?” William asked. “Are you alright, love?”
Celine sniffled, curling her legs up on the couch. “Before he left- I- Mark- he…”
William scooted closer to her, gently putting his arm around her shoulder. “What happened?”
Celine’s hands fell from her face, revealing a huge red hand mark near her eye. Wilford/William was in shock. While William hid his anger almost perfectly, Wilford was livid.
“M- Mark said he was coming home i- in a week,” Celine said. “Then it turned into two weeks… then a month, th- then a week into a month… Is… Is being an actor really this schedule filling…?”
William just shrugged. He had no idea. He was a Colonel in the army for three years, what does HE know about acting?
“Anyway…” Celine shook her head. “He finally came home earlier, but it was just to grab something really quick, it must have been a prop he was missing or something… And… I told him… ‘Maybe you should quit your acting career, and have a job that is more at-home.’ That’s all I said, I thought it was polite enough.”
William agreed, nodding quietly. Wilford was sticking up for her and cheering for her loudly as she continued her little story. (“Yeah! It WAS polite enough! ”)
“But then, he started going on this rant that the most money he’s ever had was through his acting career, and he never wants to quit. I said, ‘Maybe you could do screenwriting,’ and he said he’s a terrible writer. He keeps finding these excuses that he can’t do certain things that I suggested him.”
(“MARK’S A WIMP!!! ”)
“I told him I just want him to come home,” Celine wiped her eyes as her voice started to quiver a bit. “He said… something, I- I forgot what, and it lead me to saying ‘All you care about is your money, I never should have married you to begin with,’ a- and then…”
Celine gestured the mark on her face. “I think you can figure out what happened next…”
Wilford stood up on the glass table. “WHAT AN ASSHAT! ”
“What an asshat,” William growled.
(“THAT’S WHAT I SAID!!! ”)
“He always overreacts too much. He never should have done that to a beaut like you.”
Celine smiled a little at his reaction, shaking her head. “You’re too good to me, Will.”
William was quiet for a few moments, gently tracing the bruising handprint against her cheek. “Not good enough, my dear. I could have told you I loved you a long time ago, and then we wouldn’t be in this mess…”
“I feel like if I never went out with Mark once he started to have ‘romantic’ feelings for me, he probably wouldn’t care if I ever left,” Celine said. “I thought he was in love, I did too… but it turns out I’m just his purposeless housewife.”
“I wouldn’t call you purposeless at all, Celine,” William replied. “Mark has always been like a projection-perfectionist; He sets up expectations for everybody, especially for women. If you don’t meet the expectations, even if you make a tiny mistake, he fires you. Like a movie that has a perfect script, the perfect cast, and the perfect production. If you mess up, you’re gone. He’s a tough son of a bitch to work for.”
“Then why am I still here??” Celine asked, with her voice rising a bit. “If I’m not what Mark wants me to be, then why hasn’t he divorced me yet?!”
Wilford looks away. “Because I told him a long time ago that I cared about you. And he likes showing off that he can get whatever he wants, even if it’s out of pure spite.”
“And even if you can never meet his expectations,” Wilford grumbled. “You forgot about that part, Mister Forgetful Brains.”
“And believe it or not, Celine,” William continued. “I care about you, more than anything. I knew from the second he proposed, he didn’t want to do it because he cared about you. Mark wants you to be here because of my jealousy. He may want you to be perfect, but little does he know, you already are.”
Wilford slowly sat back down on the glass table, watching the two look at each other for a few moments. Celine looked away, almost making eye contact with Wilford, giving him chills.
William gently cupped her cheek with his hand, making her look back at him, both are silent. Wilford watches his past self lean over, and kiss Celine, full on the lips. It looked like the mustache wasn’t even a problem. As soon as they both stop, Celine smiles. “Thank you.”
William kisses her forehead. Wilford smiled.
Suddenly, the door opens, with Celine and William quickly departing their close distance from each other. Wilford stood up to his feet, hiding on Celine’s side of the couch. “Goddammit, it was the wrong prop!”
William and Celine looked at each other, both knowing who was storming in.
“Hey, Colonel,” Mark said. “You think you could help me find a fake gun? I know you might be hiding one in your room somewhere, when you were little.”
William sighed, and got up from the couch. “If you say so.”
“Thanks-” Mark interrupted himself, seeing Celine on the couch. “What are you doing down here?”
Celine’s head perked. “Huh?”
“I thought I told you to go upstairs earlier,” Mark said. The tone of his voice lowered a bit. “Nobody wants to see you like that. Go upstairs and fix yourself. Now.”
Wordless, Celine stood up, and went upstairs, not even looking at her husband. William waves “bye” to her.
Mark let out a dramatic sigh as she closed her door. “Some days I can barely understand that woman.”
Not wanting to push what Celine said to Mark earlier, William slowly said, “Maybe if you have more days off, and spend more time with her, then you could understand her a little bit more. I know I do~”
Mark glanced at William. “I have a job, she doesn’t. I can’t stay home very much until filming is done.”
Wilford followed his past self and his brother walk around the house. “Until your agent suggests another script to you that you obviously won’t say no to, no matter how awful the script must be.”
“Thanks, Captain Obvious,” Mark replied.
“I mean it, Mark. She’s your wife, not your pet.”
Mark’s eyes narrowed. “And what’s it to you?”
“You are abusing the woman you once called ‘the love of your life’,” William said, gesturing up the stairs. “Did you see the mark you left on her face??”
“No, because I was in a rush,” Mark replied. “I have a job, and I had to be quick. I’m on a break right now until tomorrow, and that gives me enough time to look for a fake gun for a prop.”
Wilford TOTALLY wanted to punch this man. He couldn’t believe he was related to him.
“Now, did you hear what you just said?” William asked. “You say your job is more important than your loving, hurt wife.”
“So what?!” Mark asked loudly. “Yeah, I’ll apologize that I hit her, but I won’t have to apologize for ignoring her all the time! I have-”
“YOU HAVE A JOB, I KNOW,” William and Wilford shouted in unison. “But can’t you just leave her a note, or a phone call or something?? Just speak to her, goddammit!! At least I care about her more than you do!”
Mark turned, about to violently throw a punch, but William caught his fist without flinching. “I have an idea. Let me get your wife for you. Stay here.”
Wilford was too invested to do anything. He watched his past self go over to the stairs. “Celine! … Are you all cleaned up? … Can you come down here really quick?”
Celine came downstairs, with a few layers of makeup on her cheek. William took her hand, and whispered something into her ear. Mark couldn’t hear it. She shook her head, eyes wide. William smiled sympathetically as he murmured something else, squeezing her hand. The secret whisper fest ended as soon as the two went over to Mark, with William still holding Celine’s hand tightly.
“Celine,” William said. “Tell Mark how you’ve felt about your marriage with him, and compare how much has changed.”
He let go of Celine’s hand and walked over next to Mark, right where Wilford was standing. “And Mark…”
He patted his hand harshly on Mark’s chest. “Listen to her.”
Mark stared at his brother as if he’d turned into a koi fish.
“Don’t you dare do anything to her,” William added. “Just listen to her. It’s what you should have done after almost three years of marriage.”
Wilford scooted between the brothers and Celine, probably trying to listen to them at the same time. Celine took a deep breath. Her hands were shuffling in her sleeves.
“Mark, I…” she started. “I thought… I thought I was in love with you. I thought you were in love with me. When you asked me for your hand, I thought it was going to be the greatest decision in my life to say yes. I was… wrong. I was avoiding the fact that you only pay attention to your job so much, that I realized, I’ve forgotten that we were married a few times. I just wanted you to be home.”
Mark opened his mouth to say something, but Celine just kept going. Forever.
“But no matter how many times you get to be home, you still ignore me with every chance you get. William told me you asked to marry me just to envy him, because he cares about me more than anything in the world. And ironically enough, I grew more close to your brother than I grew close to you. I know you used to try to be there for me, but I feel like you’ve gotten so into your career that you weren’t even there for me at all. It was William that always helped me. Hell, just before you came back, he told me that you could get everything you want just to spite him. And you never apologized after all the times you hit me.”
For some reason, Wilford was almost brought to tears by this. He didn’t know if he was either sad that Celine had to go through so much ignorance and abuse from her husband, or if he was proud of Celine that she was finally standing up for herself. Maybe a mix of both. Bittersweetness?
Mark was completely silent. It actually felt like he was listening to her. “Celine, I… I’m sorry that I hit you. I was just too caught up in all my-”
“Don’t you dare bring that excuse up,” Celine snapped. “I’m sick of hearing it. I’m sick of you being the projection-perfectionist that you are.”
William gasped quietly. She used his word to describe how much of an objectifying asshole his brother is!
“Okay, okay,” Mark acted all defensive, having his hands up. “Celine, I’m sorry over all the things I did and all the things I didn’t do for you. I just- I- My reputation is just really important to me, and-”
“I get it,” Celine said. “You just care about your job and your money rather than spend time with and care for your own wife. It’s like you went against all of your vows on our wedding day entirely.”
“You know what?” Celine asked. “William, come here.”
Both William and Wilford walked right on over to Celine. “Tell my husband all the things we’ve done together while he was off doing the things he finds more important in his life.”
“We went on ice cream dates,” Wilford said, even though he knew nobody could hear him.
“... We went on ice cream dates,” William echoed, smiling quietly. “We watched some of your movies off of the projector and threw popcorn at it. And… we, uh…”
He leaned over to Celine. “Do you want to tell him, or should I?”
Celine, somehow knowing what William was trying to say, shrugged. William sighed deeply through his teeth, scratching his neck. He shakily made his hands form a certain gesture that Wilford tried to hide a laugh at. A TERRIBLE time to laugh, honestly.
Mark’s eyes widened at the gesture, looking back at Celine. He slowly walked to her. “I can’t believe you. You lied to me, saying that you’ve done nothing while I was gone, and you just up and had sex with my brother?!”
Celine nodded, unafraid.
William spotted Mark’s hands forming into fists. “You’re supposed to be my wife. You’re not supposed to be with any other man but me. You’re supposed to go by your wedding vows; ‘Tell the truth, love, and obey.’ You aren’t supposed love my brother. You are supposed to love me!”
“Says the selfish actor who never went by his own wedding vows either,” Celine said. “‘Take care, love, and cherish.’ I’m sure William would go by those vows better than you ever would.”
“SHUT IT!” Mark shouted. “YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LOVE ME!”
As soon as Mark brought his fist up, William threw a punch on his cheek, making him fall over. Wilford threw his fists in the air. “YES!!! ”
When Mark tried to get up, William slammed his boot against his shoulder.
“Stay down, brother,” he warned. “I don’t want to hit you again. But if you try to hurt her one more time, so help me God…”
The army colonel broke off, shaking his head. “How could you ever want to hurt her, Mark? How could you ever even think that?”
Mark lifted his head up, trying to fight his brother’s boot off of him. “Everyone needs discipline. Especially when one won’t be who I say who she’s supposed to be.”
He glares up at Celine, making her look away.
“How about instead of saying what I’m supposed to be,” Celine started. “Why not tell me one thing you actually like about me?”
William kept his boot on Mark’s shoulder.
“Just you doing the things I say,” Mark said. “You were such a doll when we have guests coming over, just doing nothing but following me with your arm under mine. It was great. If only you could do it more often now-”
“Oh, bullshit,” William’s boot pressed harder on Mark’s shoulder. “I’ve had it with you. Celine, you know where Damien lives, right?”
Celine nodded. Mark’s brows narrowed. “What are you talking about?”
“We’re leaving,” William sneered. “And we’re never coming back. It was an honor doing nothing with you. Celine, any last words to him?”
William slowly got off Mark’s shoulder, with him sitting up on the floor. Celine knelt down, looking at Mark in the eyes.
“I feel like I have to leave, Mark,” she said. “You’re just… not what I thought you were anymore.”
“What did you think of me?” Mark asked. Celine looked down to her wedding ring on her finger.
She glanced back at Mark. “Somebody who loved me.”
Celine pulls her wedding ring off from her ring finger. She took Mark’s hand, and put the ring in his palm.
She leaned over and kissed her husband’s cheek. “I’m sorry.”
She stood up to her feet, and wrapped her arm around William’s. They both left the house, with Mark sitting up on his knees. Wilford stood still, knowing he couldn’t follow his past self and his lover, as much as he wanted to.
Wilford stared longingly after them, standing next to a stunned actor. “Dark…? ”
“Yes, Will? ”
“Why do I get the feeling this isn’t a happy story? ”
Dark was quiet for a long while. Wilford thought for a second that Dark didn’t hear him.
“It gets worse,” Dark said. “And this is the part where I come in after a certain somebody leaves.”
Wilford wasn’t sure how he knew, but Dark sped about a week or two after William and Celine left. Mark was lying on his bed, with his entire room a mess. He heard the doorbell ring. Twice.
Chapter 18: Mixed Emotions
“BENJAMIN!” Mark shouted weakily. “Can you get the door??”
“Yes, sir!” Mark’s butler exclaimed. Mark stayed silent until he heard his door being knocked.
“Master Mark?” Ben asked. “A friend is here.”
“It’s not Colonel, is it?” Mark asked.
“No, sir. It’s Damien.”
“Bring him in.”
Damien looked put together, at least compared to Mark. He seemed very tired, but collected. Wilford had the feeling he could logic someone to death, and then beat them up if he needed to. He slowly sat down next to Mark’s feet, trying to take a peek at his face.
“Hi,” Damien greeted gently. “Are you alright?”
No response. Damien nudged Mark’s leg, trying to get him to speak. “I’m fine, Jesus.”
Damien reclined his hand back, quietly looking around Mark’s room.
“Well…” Damien started slowly, “You look like a mess. Not that I’m really surprised.”
Mark just glared at Damien for a second.
“What are you doing here.”
The way Mark said that was so flat, Wilford wasn’t even sure if he was asking an actual question or not.
“Just checking in to see if you’re alright,” Damien replied. His soft, kind tone of voice was literally the most innocent sounding thing that Wilford has ever heard in his life… besides Eric and his stutters. “After two whole weeks of… you know.”
“You don’t have to say it,” Mark said, dead flat. “I get it. Save your sympathy when I’m dead.”
Damien gasped. “Mark, how could you say that??”
“You took them in,” Mark said flatly. “You helped those…”
“Mark, they’re my family,” Damien replied, even softer than before. “You are, too.”
Mark sat up, with his hair as tangled and messy as ever. “They betrayed me. They slept together, and they told me nothing.”
“You knew William loved her and you married her anyway, Mark,” the mayor murmured. “You’ve been acting so…”
Mark glared at Damien. “So what? Say it.”
Damien sighed through his nose. “It’s like you’re in denial that you’ve been acting so overbearing.”
“Oh, so now YOU’RE saying I’m an asshole!” Mark exclaimed. “What’s next, are you gonna hire some kind of protest riot group to come over to my mansion and shout at me about all my flaws?!”
Damien tried to rest his hand on his friend’s shoulder, but Mark just kept flinching him off. “No, I’m not saying that at all! I’m just saying that… you may need a little bit of help to get over how you’ve been acting lately.”
“Acting behavior wise, or acting career wise?” Mark sneered. “Be more specific.”
“You know what I meant, Mark,” Damien said, rolling his eyes. “Behavior wise.”
“You’re full of it, too.”
Mark flopped back on his side on the bed. “If you wanna make me feel better, leave.”
“Mark, I’m not-”
“LEAVE!” Mark snapped. Damien just sat next to Mark’s bed, silent. He got up.
“I wish I could make you happy again, brother.”
With that, Damien left before Mark could get in a last poisonous word.
Wilford was too sucked in to move. He felt like he was actually there, and he was afraid that Mark might pummel him if he moves. Wilford was having a bit of a dilemma of how he felt about Mark during this flashback of an adventure. Well… Mark acted awful towards his wife, obviously, but seeing him as this depressed lonely hermit? … Wilford had no idea what to think of it. So many mixed feelings.
“You’re not thinking down the wrong path, Will,” Dark said, knowing that Wilford might be hesitant. “But I ask that you keep in mind that Mark is a manipulator. Through this whole time you’ve seen him, has he ever admitted any responsibilities for his actions? Has he ever admitted that he was just as much of a guilty party? ”
Wilford was quiet for a while, taking in Dark’s questions. “No..? ”
“Right,” Dark replied. “Now, just watch.”
Just by peeking out the window, Wilford suddenly saw it was nighttime. Mark was still lying on his bed, with his room an even bigger mess. Will spotted a shiny silver object next to Mark’s feet.
“What are you up to? ” Wilford whispered.
Mark sloppily sat up, glaring down at the object next to him. He picked it up, and…
That’s a knife.
As a master of identifying what a knife is and what isn’t, Wilford felt a bit stupid for a second there.
Mark was staring at the knife for a long while. His hands were trembling while he was holding it. Hunger shakes?
“I could do it, you know,” Mark whispered. “I could shut you up. Forever.”
“But why would you want to do that? ” Another voice purred, almost whispery. It caught Wilford by surprise. “Nobody else wants to listen to you, Mark. They don’t understand. Besides, I’m not physical. You can’t ever kill me if you wanted to.”
Mark didn’t say anything.
“And I know you don't want to… You don’t want to be the famous actor that was beloved by all to be turned against to by killing an innocent bystander.”
“As if you’re innocent,” Mark mumbled. “Have you been listening to yourself lately?”
“Yes,” the voice replied. “Have you? ”
Mark didn’t say anything.
Wilford thought that the other being laughed at this silence.
“That just comes to show that you don’t even understand yourself,” the voice said. “She never deserved you. You never deserved to be her husband, and you never deserved to be HIS brother. They’re both living much more happily without you, even Damien is.”
“Oh… I’m not so sure about that,” Wilford mumbled. “I’m sure Damien meant well.”
“Oh, he did,” Dark replied. “He was too sympathetic for his own good..”
Wilford sighed, continuing to do what Dark told him.
“He DARES to pity you? You’re Markiplier! You are a billionaire, just for being in movies, most of them aren’t even that good! You once acted as a musician who poisoned your partner to steal his songs when he was going away with them, and you got everything you wanted. Now, you are still a billionaire, but an emotional, short-tempered slob. I have an idea for you. Use that knife, and rid yourself.”
Both Wilford and Mark flinched at that.
“What?! Are you kidding?!” Mark asked loudly, stumbling to his feet. “I’m not gonna do that!”
“Oh, but you must,” the voice said, as calm as ever. “If you do this, you will get what you want. You want your wife back, don’t you? ”
Mark was quiet. “... Yes.”
“Do you trust me? ”
Mark glared at the knife in his hand. “... Yes.”
“Is life fair for you? ”
Mark’s hands were trembling as soon as he aimed for his heart. “No.”
Wilford uncomfortably clutched his heart, as he saw his brother fall over to the floor. “Jesus…”
Chapter 19: The Beginning of His Plot
With the blink of an eye, Wilford is suddenly in a pitch black nothing with white dust particles floating all over the place. As soon as he was about to take small step, Wilford felt a fleshy hand underneath his shoe. Mark was lying on his stomach, with a dark blood stain on his robe. Wilford’s eyes darted all around.
“Dark…? ” he asked out loud. “Are you still here? ”
He suddenly felt a hand touch his shoulder, but nobody else was with him. “I’m right here, Wilford.”
“But… where are you? " Wilford asked, drawing away from the body. “I don’t see you… What’s going on? ”
“I’ll be with you soon, Will. Don’t worry.”
Mark suddenly gets up, making Wilford flinch. “Ugh… That hurt…”
“You will get used to it, Mark,” the voice said, more echoier than ever. “In time, of course.”
Mark shakily stood up to his feet. Blood was stained all over his hands. “What the hell is all this for…? Where am I right now? ”
“My Upside-Down,” the voice replied. Wilford had an imagination that a ghost was presenting it like in a game-show.
“This is my place where you will go to every time you are killed, or if you commit suicide. You have the choice whether to stay dead, or if you want to be alive. You have three minutes to make your decision, but in the real world, it’s ten hours. If you want to come back, the ten hours will pass, and you will awake. If you want to stay dead, the rest of the world moves on without you.”
Wilford felt chills all over his bones.
“Do you want to continue living? ” the voice asked. “Or do you want to stay dead entirely? You have three minutes, and I will let you know when it’s all done. But before you make your choice… I want you to consider another opportunity…”
“I don’t have to listen to anything you say! ” Mark screamed.
“So then, you don’t want to see William and that traitorous wife of yours pay…? ”
Mark and Wilford blinked. “Think about it.”
Wilford watched Mark pace slowly for the rest of the three minutes. Once it was all up, the voice was heard again. “Your three minutes are up. Have you made up your mind? ”
Wilford studied Mark’s face closely. Very tired, sad, confused, angry, and thoughtful. “I want to come back. But, I want to keep torturing myself until I can’t feel anything anymore. Then you can tell me your idea once I come back here all ready.”
A low hum almost rumbled the Upside Down. “Very well, then. See you soon~”
Wilford blinked once, and was suddenly lying on Mark’s bed, while Mark was struggling up to his feet. He winced when Mark started mumbling something along the lines of needing a rope. Wilford covered his eyes as Mark stumbled off.
“Dark, can you fast forward?? ” he asked. “Please…? I think I get the gist of it…”
“I’m sorry, Will,” Dark said. “This is very uncomfortable for you, I know.”
Wilford ran a hand through his hair. “Like… I know Mark is an awful guy, and he was being a dick to the love of my life, but… I can’t stand seeing him be like this, and I’m the one to blame, and… He’s my brother…”
Dark is quiet. “Having toxic family members can be challenging. But just because he is your brother, doesn’t mean you can feel sorry for him after the way he’s acted.”
“But have you seen him?? ” Wilford asked loudly. “He’s more miserable than I thought he was! How come I never thought about how he was going to act when Celine and I left?! ”
“Oh, you did,” Dark replied. “You thought about him when you were by yourself, which was hardly ever, because of Celine’s company. You were afraid that Mark was going to hire a henchman to come over and beat all of you.”
Wilford scoffed. “From what I’ve seen, he has enough henchmen already.”
Dark hummed in agreement, no trace of humor in their voices. “Indeed… but we don’t need to dwell on this particular memory.”
“I believe it’d be fair to warn you that some of these will be just as, if not harder, to watch. It’s your choice, Will.”
Wilford shook his head lightly. “No, I… I wanna watch. You said something about all of this is how you were made, so… I’m more interested in that, more than anything.”
“Alright then,” Dark said after a very long pause. “Three years later…”
Chapter 20: Totally Normal Party
Wilford stood at the center of the entrance of the house. Music was playing from the party room.
“A poker party,” Dark said. “Even if it was MY idea originally, Mark had a trick up his sleeve.”
They were all there, for the most part. Damien was chatting up a butler - Will barely caught his name, turning out to be Benjamin. He wasn’t sure how Abe had turned up, but Wilford wasn’t surprised that the detective was still wearing his trench coat and hat. Guy never left home without it.
William was greeting a young person at the door, who Wilford vaguely recognized. “Who’s that? ”
“The city’s new District Attorney,” Dark answered, and if Wilford didn’t know better, he’d say guilt had entered Dark’s tone. “A guest invited by Damien. The two of them were… very close friends.”
Wilford watched his past self let the District Attorney inside before him. “Huh… What’s their name? ”
“Not so sure…” Dark replied. If they were there with Wilford, they’d probably have a hand on their chin. “They rarely ever spoke.”
“Is it alright if I guess? ” Wilford asked.
“... Go ahead,” Dark just went along with it. “Knock yourself out.”
Without even having a second to guess, Wilford snapped his fingers. “Yin. That’s their name now.”
Wilford imagined Dark shrugging. “Sold.”
“Why did you bother to explain who Yin was? ” Wilford asked, leaning against a staircase banister. “Are they important? ”
“Very. Much more important than you’d think.”
Wilford followed Yin around for a short second. “Well, they’re a mute, their new name is Yin, they’re a District Attorney, AND they’re wearing a tux-dress mix. Seems like an important somebody to me!! I might forget that, but whatever! ”
Will had the feeling that if he could see Dark, they’d be mustering a smile. “You know the others.”
Wilford strolled around a surprisingly small crowd of the people Mark has invited (along with Yin), naming them as he went along; Himself (obviously), Yin, Ben the Butler (Benjamin), Innocent Little Mayor Angel Man (Damien), Grumpy Past Abe, and Angry Chef Guy (that Wilford also nicknamed “Chief”).
“Welcome, welcome, one and all! My name is Markiplier!” That announcement itself has made Wilford give all the attention he could have, besides giggling at Abe’s outfit.
Once Wilford took one look at his brother, he immediately knew something was different. No scars, no bruises, nothing… Wilford eventually ignored it the second everybody took their first drinks from their martinis. Party time!!!
It struck a chord with Wilford to see Yin get so unbelievably drunk so quickly. And for Damien to do a keg stand. Wilford mostly stuck around either with William, or with Abe. It was easy to stick around with both of them at the same time though, because they messed around with each other… a lot. It wasn’t as playful as Wilford expected, since now, he and Abe are very close. Just a bunch of drunk wrestling and yelling at each other over just a poker game. How riveting. But then again, they didn’t seem to be as close before. It looked like they both tried to spark up a conversation with each other, but it always ended with them giving each other weird looks, and awkward silence, besides the music playing. It made Wilford wonder if something had happened between them in the time he’d last seen them. Or maybe they never met and just are suspicious of each other for no reason… maybe. Wilford wasn’t entirely sure.
“Hey, Colonel!” Mark shouted, immediately grabbing William and Wilford’s attention. “You wanna chat with me for a minute or two?”
Wilford watched his past self practically fly on over to Mark’s shoulder with a half-empty glass bottle of wine. Very drunk, as you could tell.
“Heyyyyyy, Mark! It’s so good to see you! Th- thank you for inviiiiting me, I-” William broke off to cough violently into his elbow. “- mmmmmissed you!”
Mark patted William’s back, forcing a smile. “Yeah, I missed you too, broth- buddy! I thought that maybe you and I could have a little chit chat somewhere where it’s a bit, y’know, private.”
“Oooohhhhhh because I broke all your wine glassessss?” William asked. “Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh, I’m sorry about all thaaat~ I’llll go buy some neeeeww onees for yoouuu, I prooomiiissse…”
Mark chuckled. “Yeeeeeaaaaahh, it’s not about all of that. Maybe if you were sober, you’d know what I’m trying to mention.”
William just stared at Mark intensely. “Thhe time I allmosst raan over the big, fat chesssssss boarrd?”
“Nope,” Mark replied. “Guess again.”
Jesus, it’s like I’m taking care of a five-year-old, Mark complained in his head. William and Wilford both scowled.
“I heard thaat,” William said. “What be the subject?”
Mark leaned over to his brother’s ear. “Celine, you, me, and problems.”
William flinched up, almost throwing his wine bottle. He’s lucky the cork was in. “WELP! Sorryy, Mark, but I thiinnkk I heearr Dammienn being a sooore looserr, sooo I have ta beet up the winnerr so HE can win by default~”
Mark grabbed his shoulder, gripping it a bit two hard. “Oh, no. You’re not getting off the hook that quickly.”
William sighed through his nose, with his lips doing that weird horse lip thing they do. Instead of trying to refuse… “Alrighty.”
Mark grinned. “Perfect. To the wine cellar!!”
William drunkenly threw a fist in the air, “wooo”ing with his voice falling and rising all over the place. Wilford followed, as much as he wanted to stay to see if either Damien or Abe will win another game. This was kinda more important.
William almost trampled down to the bottom of the stairs to the wine cellar, only “safely” planting his face on the rocky patterned wall. Wilford still does that whenever he’s drunk and is going down or up the stairs, actually. Huh. Some things never change!
As soon as the brothers reached to the bottom of the wine cellar, William flopped on the floor with his wine bottle, near a whole cabinet stash of other wine bottles and beer.
“Oh,” he giggled, “I know this place~”
“Yep,” Mark replied, leaning on a barrel. “We’d always play pirate in here when we were kids. You’d always play as Blacksctrote.”
William laughed, VERY drunkenly. Wilford only giggled at the pirate name “Blackscrote”. It does sound like a name he’d make up for a pirate roleplay. “How the hell doo youu rememmber that…?”
Mark shrugged. “I’m sober.”
William grinned. “We had fun here…”
“Yeah,” Mark sighed. Something about the look in his eyes caught Wilford off guard. “Maybe we can… have a little bit of fun down here for one last time?”
William and Wilford both cocked eyebrows (the same ones as well). “What do you mean?”
Mark smirked, slowly pulling out William’s 357 magnum from underneath his robe. William’s back straightened. “How the hell did you find that??”
The drunk tone in his voice was completely gone. Freaky.
“Don’t mind all that,” Mark replied, playing with the cylinder of the gun. “So… I know I’ve acted shitty in the past, especially towards you and Celine. I probably should have known that she was much more happier with you. So, stay with me here, maybe… we could play a little game of Russian Roulette, as a truce game. If the bullet doesn’t hit any of us, then bygones will be bygones. I’ll let you and Celine stay together, and we’ll never speak of our problems about it ever again.”
William’s breath hitched, sitting up all of the way. “So… so you f- forgive me?”
Mark’s features hardened for a flicker of a moment.
“If the bullet doesn’t hit the both of us,” he began, forcing a grin again. Wilford had no trust in him at all. “Then I’ll forgive you~”
William stared at his gun for a while. He did want to patch things up with Mark, Wilford could tell, but… patch things up with a game of Russian Roulette? Seriously?? Maybe the brothers should do something a bit more peaceful? Like… if the both of them could get a tie at a simple little game of poker… (Author Abby’s note: I have no idea how poker works. *le shrug*)
“Come on,” Mark grinned, grabbing hold of his brother’s arm to help stand him up. “It’s a good plan, I promise.”
Wilford’s eyes narrowed. No, no it wasn’t. Dark knew Wilford was on the same page.
“Mark, I don't know if this is a good idea…”
“Says the man who got sucked into Jumanji, and slept with my wife.”
The brothers were quiet. Mark played with the cylinder of the magnum again. William sighed, getting up on his wobbly drunk feet. “Fine.”
Mark handed him the gun, smirking. “Ladies first.”
William scoffed, shoving the gun back in Mark’s hands. “Fooled ya. I’m not doing this. If you want things to be patched up with me, then we shouldn’t attempt to kill each other. I’ve had experiences like this before, in the army. This game is suicide.”
Mark’s brows furrowed. He stared down at the cylinder again, fiddling with it. Wilford tried to take a peek to see if the bullet was near the barrel. “Alright then. Let me do this real quick.”
Mark aimed between William’s eyes, and pulled the trigger. Nothing. William panicked, wacking the gun away from his face, out of Mark’s hand. “Jesus!! What were you thinking?!”
Mark shrugged. “Nothing?”
“You could have killed me, you son of a bitch!” William threw his wine bottle on the floor, making it shatter in half.
“Then you know how it feels! I DIED that day, William! And nothing can ever fix that!”
William just looked away, scowling. “How come a simple apology is never enough for you?”
“I don’t know,” Mark replied. “Maybe to challenge you into doing something to make sure you really meant it.”
“I do,” William said, looking down at his feet. “I never said it, but… I felt sorry. I still am.”
Mark’s face and posture softened. He knelt down, and picked up his brother’s gun from the floor. He opened and closed the cylinder. He poked his brother’s shoulder with the barrel end of the gun. “Your turn.”
“Don’t you want to make up? Be a man and shoot!”
“Dark, I don’t trust this,” Wilford said. “Does he know the bullet is in the barrel? ”
“Yes,” Dark replied.
Wilford watched his past self distance himself away from his brother, with his gun in his hands.
“Bygones will be bygones, brother,” Mark said. “I promise.”
William glanced at him, silent. His hands were trembling when he aimed for the side of Mark’s head.
“Just to let you know, Mark…” Will started. “I may have always hated you and we’ve had our problems, but… if I shoot you, I… I’ll have no idea what I’d do.”
Mark shrugged. Again. Grinning. “I think I might have an idea.”
William rolled his eyes, trying to hide a smirk. Wilford wasn’t buying it. Mark knew the bullet was in the barrel…
William took a deep breath, looking at his brother in the eyes. “Bygones will be bygones.”
Wilford flinched his eyes closed as William pulled the trigger.
His glasses were askew. His eyes held no sign of drunkenness or delirium.
Chapter 21: "I Killed Markiplier?"
He clutched his mouth, dropping to his knees in front of his brother’s body. Wilford knelt down along with his past self, seeing the pure terror and panic all over his face. William gently picked his brother up, shaking him. “No, no no no no no no no no, Mark, no… brother… I didn’t want to…”
Wilford head tilted lightly.
“What’s the matter? ” he asked, almost innocently. “He knows he’s gonna get up, just like before, right? ”
Dark didn’t reply for a moment.
“Not… not in the way you’d think, Will.”
“Oh…? ” Wilford got up to his feet as William shakily struggled to pick up Mark from the floor.
“What am I gonna do, what am I gonna do, what am I gonna do…” William kept repeating the same thing over and over again until he suddenly disappeared with Mark’s body. Wilford flinched.
“Where’d he go?? ”
“To his/your bedroom,” Dark replied. “You hide Mark under his bed for the rest of the night, but… I can skip to the next morning if you want to see what happens next.”
Without thinking, Wilford just nodded. “Okay.”
Wilford appeared on top of a banister, standing next to Damien. The mayor was laughing, and speaking softly to Yin. “I didn’t see you go wild like that since our days at University!”
Wilford glanced over at Yin, seeing that they’re VERY tired and a bit hungover from last night, but they continue to smile and listen to their friend. They rubbed their eyes, looking down at their drugged drink with a shrug. They put it down on the closest table near them while trying to keep eye contact with Damien. Wilford chuckled. Damien’s kind grin faded slowly. “...Then again, I’m not exactly sure as to what we’re supposed to be celebrating here. I mean, it’s good to have the gang back together, but… out of the blue like this seems…”
They pat his shoulder. That made Damien smile again, more sweeter than ever. Wilford awwwww’ed to himself about it.
“Anyway,” Damien shook his head. “Now is not the time to become conspiratorial. Life is ours to choose, as I always say!”
Yin nodded quietly, before pointing over their shoulder at William’s room with a confused expression. Damien didn’t seem to catch their gesture though, so they just kept listening to him ramble. Not like they didn’t mind Damien not noticing what they were trying to say.
“I have some work to finish, but I’ll meet you at breakfast. We’ll all catch up soon.”
Both Yin and Damien nod, as Wilford decides to follow Damien around.
“Are you sure you want to follow him, Wilford? ” Dark asked. “I’m not saying you’re not allowed to, but I said before that Yin is more important than you’d think. ”
“But I like hiiiiiiiim! ” Wilford whined.
“Again, I’m not saying you’re not allowed to follow him,” Dark said. “I’m just saying you may need to think about the choices you make as to whoever you want to follow around and what you might miss out on. Every person in this house has their own objectives, whether you want to know about them or not. You don’t have to follow Yin if you don’t want to, Will. That’s all I’m saying.”
Wilford looked over his shoulder back at Yin. The attorney was holding onto the banister with both hands, slowly going down the stairs one step at a time. This had Will chuckle. “Alright. I get your point. Damien’s work stuff might be a bit boring anyways..”
“Oh trust me, his time with his work is short,” Dark replied. “Just go along with Yin, and you’ll see.”
“Alright, Dark. I just hope we’re getting to the reason you brought me here soon.”
“Soon, Wilford,” Dark said. “She’ll bust in eventually.”
Wilford only had the guess that ‘she’ is Celine. He got slightly more excited, wanting to rush Yin down the stairs to make time go faster.
As soon as they both reached an empty party room, Mark’s body suddenly falls right in front of them on the floor. Wilford jumped, screaming. Yin covered their mouth in shock as loud lightning was heard from outside. Wilford jumped again. “AW, WHY?!?!?!?! ”
Wilford broke off at the look on Yin’s face. “Are they okay…? ”
Wilford then heard Abe’s voice from the other room. “Hey, did anybody hear that lightning-? OH MY GOD! THERE’S BEEN A MURDER!!”
Chapter 22: Repetitive Triggers
Lightning flashed from outside, making Wilford scream again, covering his ears. He leaped his arms around Abe’s shoulders, only to fall on the floor. Wilford forgot that he wasn’t actually there.
Benjamin walked in. “Excuse me, but did anyone hear lightning- oH MY GOD, MURDER!”
Lightning flashed again, making Wilford sit behind Abe’s legs, shaking. Then, Chief rushed in. “Did you-?! MURDER!!!! ”
“I GET IT, JUST STOP THE LIGHTNING ALREADY!!! ” Wilford screamed.
“What the hell happened here?” Abe snarled, grabbing Yin by the collar. “Who's in charge here-? Trick question, that guy!”
He pointed at Mark’s corpse, narrowing his eyes at the shivering attorney.
Wilford slowly got up to his feet, trying to slap his arms on Abe’s shoulders to calm him down. “Why so pissed, Abe?? He’s gonna come back! ”
“Keep forgetting that nobody can hear you, Will? ” Dark asked. “I’m sure Abe would appreciate the comfort though, at a time like this.”
Wilford hunched his shoulders, just watching everybody observing Mark’s body, and Abe explaining this little curse he has about all of his partners dying and whatnot. And then Abe says that Yin is his new partner. Yin shook their head in refusal, but Abe insists that Yin is his new partner anyway. Wilford rolled his eyes at that. “Typical Abe.”
Yin looked on the verge of a panic attack when Damien walked in, asking what was wrong. They rushed over to the mayor and pulled him into a hug, shaking. Wilford didn’t notice it before, but Mark’s body was covered up with a white cloth, and caution tape was surrounding it.
Damien patted Yin’s back, looking at everybody with concern written all over his face. “What the hell happened here…?”
“Mister Mayor, I’m… so sorry,” Benjamin said, trying to remain calm. “There’s… been a murder.”
“A murder…?” Damien asked quietly.
Lightning flashed again, twice. Wilford continued hiding by Abe.
Chief shrugged. “It was Mark.”
“I’m afraid he’s telling the truth,” Abe gruffly cut in. He was currently crouched next the the corpse. “Mark’s been… killed.”
Wilford looked up, anticipating another roll of thunder. Nothing. Damien’s grip on Yin loosened. “Why… who would do this…?”
Abe got up. “That’s exactly what me and my new partner here are here to find out.”
Yin pursed their lips together, tugging on the edges of their tux. They’re uncomfortable in MANY ways for MANY reasons. Wilford felt a bit awful for them. He wanted to give them a hug, and carry them off to a happy little wonderland where no problems were held.
“Empathy, empathy,” Dark whispered. “You starting to care about someone you didn’t want to follow now, Will? ”
Wilford swapped a hand up in the air. “Oh hush.”
Dark chuckled quietly. “You’re not beginning to change your mind so quickly, are you? ”
“This is different, I apparently knew all these people.”
“Yes, but you don’t remember… most of them,” Dark said. “Abe, obviously, is still around.”
Wilford shrugged. “I get to re-meet them, I suppose. Bad day for it, but I like it.”
The mirth in Dark’s voice died. “Bad day, indeed…”
Dark sped a few short moments forward. Chief and Benjamin walked off, Yin and Abe are starting to think of what to do for investigation, and Damien went… somewhere. Wilford spotted Damien walking off to somewhere else for only a second, so he wasn’t really sure. And he also heard something about a certain procedure that Abe does to check out a corpse. Rectally. “Don’t tell anyone I did it,” he whispered.
Wilford giggled. “Too late, Abe. I know aaaaallllll your dirty lil secrets~”
He noticed Yin was quietly edging away from Abe, in the direction that Damien had gone off to. Will decided to follow them again. He didn’t notice that Yin stopped in front of a door frame, so Wilford just strolled right into a dimly lit small theater. He stopped his tracks as he saw his past self sitting on a chair across from the room, with Damien not-so-far from him. Both of them seem to be talking, calmly, mostly. Then, William muttered something, which made Damien lose it. “HOW can you be so flippant?!?”
The Colonel snorted. “Flippant?! I’m taking this matter very seriously.”
“Oh, don't give me that h-”
Wilford looked over at Yin, who had temporarily clapped their hands over their ears. “Damien knows how to curse? ”
He usually seems so innocent!! How dare he?!
“I know you hated him, but…” Damien swallowed, while clinging onto his mayor cane. “Goddammit, he reached out to you…!”
“Oh, what do you want from me, then?” William sneered.
“I WANT you to care!!” Damien shouted. Wilford took a step back at that.
“Just because I’m not weeping like a child, doesn’t mean that I don’t care.”
“I can’t believe you.” Damien looked sad, and sounded hurt. “You come find me when you pull your head out of your ass.”
When the mayor went to exit the room, Damien accidentally bumped into Yin, who was standing at the doorway. Both of their eyes widened as they stared at each other, complexions darkening in embarrassment.
“... Excuse me.” He seemed to be trying to filter the anger from his voice.
Damien walked past Yin, leaving the theater. Wilford was silent for a short second or two before Yin slowly crept in.
Chapter 23: What A Pair of Past-Dicks
“Damien, I don’t-” William interrupted himself as he saw Yin near the door frame of the theater. “Oh…”
William started faking a smile, getting up from his chair. The tone in his voice changed from grumpy to joyful. “Ah! Good to see you again! You were quite the rapscallion at last night’s festivities. But you’re probably helping the Detective with his ‘investigation of murder’-”
Lightning flashed, making both William and Wilford flinch. William, not so much. Hmmm.
“Anyway,” William said. “I’ll help you. I’ll tell you what happened to our ‘dear friend, Mark’.”
The Colonel then took a deep breath, mocking Mark in a huge rambling monologue… Wilford loved it.
“‘OH, look at me! MY name is MARKIPLIER now! Forget all my friends or the people that helped me along the way! Just look at my moneeeeyyyyyy!! Oh, I need to PAY people to be MY friends! HAHAHA! You like me? Too bad! Oh, GLUG, GLUG- Oopsie poopsie! I can’t hold my booze! Got to go off to the little boys’ room! Who wants to join meeee? I’m gonna go there upon my STAIRS! MY house has more than ONE STAIRCASE! Oh, look at me and look at how GREAT. I. AM! OH NO! I’M FALLING! AAAGGGHHHH, I’m dead!’”
“And that’s what happened,” William said, voice normal. “Probably, anyway.”
Yin stared at him for a long moment, eyebrows slightly raised as they silently attempted to process this. Wilford was laughing hysterically for how painfully accurate it all was.
William put his hands on his hips. “So, if you need to corroborate this story with anybody else, just be on your way, and look through the entire house. Go, now. I’ll be here when you’re done.”
Frowning more, the attorney quietly waved goodbye. Wilford eyed over to Benjamin, quickly strolling in, and grabbing Yin’s attention. “Come with me. There’s something I want to show you.”
Wilford watches them walk off. He turned, seeing the Colonel sitting back down on the chair, staring down at the floor. A huge shadow was casted on his face because of his hat, but Wilford could tell, he was really deep in thought. He sighed deeply. “Dammit, Damien… What makes you think I don’t care? It was all an accident, of course I care about all of this.”
Wilford fiddled with his fingers, not sure what to do but listen to his past self mumble. Abe suddenly poked his head through the room. “Colonel, do you know where my partner went?”
“Went with the butler somewhere,” William replied, without making eye contact with the Detective. Wilford, of course pretending that Abe could see him, waved hello.
Of course, Abe could not see him. It was still nice of him to try.
William sat up, sighing quietly. “Maybe I should apologize.”
“Apologize to who and for what?” Abe peeked underneath a row of some theater seats to see if Yin was searching around for evidence, even though William JUST SAID that they went off with the Butler. William finally looked at him, cocking an eyebrow.
“To Damien,” he said. Abe just nodded crawling through the rows of seats.
“What’d you do?” he asked. He had that sarcastic tone in his voice as if William was a child. Wilford rolled his eyes. Of course this was around the time Abe would have to ask EVERYTHING when he had no need to.
“I just shouted at him,” William scowled. “That’s all.”
“Shouted at a mayor, eh? Sounds like something a guilty man would do.”
William scoffed. “Are you saying I’m guilty for not doing anything but expressing anger?”
“Probably,” Abe replied. “People who show disrespect to somebody who has high power means you’re guilty of something. I just have no idea what you’re guilty for yet.”
“For shouting at a close childhood friend, Dick-tective,” the Colonel sneered. “I don’t care if he’s the mayor, the only thing I care about is that he’s my friend. I don’t need to treat him like royalty just because he has a ‘higher power’ than me. He protects a town, I protect the country. In a way, I have even higher power than him anyway. And I have known him all my life. We know our quirks.”
Abe scowled. “Just watch your back, Barnum. You may be familiar with this place, but I know your type. I’ve got my eye on you.”
“Sure you do.” William stood up, heading out of the theater. Abe’s head popped out from in between rows. “Where are you going?”
“Somewhere where you won’t treat me like an interrogation device,” the Colonel replied. “There is such a thing called ‘minding your own business’.”
Wilford did NOT like this. “YOU TWO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FRIENDS! ”
He ran right in front of William, trying to push him near Abe, but he fell all the way through him like a ghost. “GO BACK THERE AND BE FRIENDS, ME!! ”
The Colonel just strolled out of the room. Wilford scattered up to his feet, and ran back to Abe near the theater seats.
“Abe, we’re best friends!! ” he exclaimed. “Stop being a dick to me, and I’ll tell you that I shot Mark and he’ll come back!! It’s not that big a deal!! ”
Abe, of course, did not notice.
“Stupid laws of flashbacks,” Wilford mumbled, clenching his fists.
Chapter 24: Understandable Sad Mayor Time
Wilford emotionally huffed, and crossed his arms. He stomped out of the room, and was suddenly outside near a familiar gazebo.
“Oh, hello…” Wilford said. “Somebody else gonna smooch here? Start a little office romance? Looking at you, Damien.”
Said mayor was standing on the veranda, gazing out to the city below. His posture was straight, and he leaned against his cane, planted firmly against the ground. Damien seemed wistful, and a little sad. Yin silently appeared from the corner, with big, kind eyes. Wilford didn’t even bother to try to get their attention. Damien eyed over near them, and sighed softly. Wilford stood between the two.
“Look,” Damien started. “I’m sorry you saw that argument with the Colonel. I lose my temper, and… it wasn’t right. And, he must be in shock.”
Wilford scoffed. “He’s in denial that Mark isn’t gonna come back. Like everybody is.”
“The Colonel’s an eccentric,” Damien continued. “It’s his best quality, and his worst. But… he’s my friend, and… so was Mark.”
Wilford frowned. He just realized that he had to try to stay more serious about learning about his past. And he needs to pay more attention about people talking trashy about him. But maybe, that’s probably a good thing.
“I know I’m supposed to be a leader in this scenario, but I can’t help but feel lost,” Damien continued. His voice started to quiver a bit. “I’ve known Mark for years, since we were kids… And he’s just gone?”
Besides the lovely bird chirping, everything is quiet. Yin rested a hand on their boss’s shoulder. Damien took a shaky breath.
“I don’t have any answers right now,” he said. “I just need to be alone. To… process all of this.”
He took Yin’s hand. “We’ll talk soon, but I need to think.”
Damien squeezed the attorney’s hand before giving Yin a reassuring smile, walking off.
At the edge of Wilford’s eye, he spotted William sulking on a balcony. And Abe was squatting from behind a bush… That’s definitely something a serious detective would do.
“Pssst, hey, Partner!” Abe whisper-exclaimed. “Get over here, now! Hurry up!”
Yin turned, and quickly followed Abe inside. Wilford slowly followed, but kept looking back at Damien. Then, Abe said something Wilford would TOTALLY believe. “You’re not gonna believe this, I can barely believe this! The body, it’s gone, it just fucking disappeared! Look!”
The missing body’s outline was taped on the ground, everything in the vicinity taped off. Wilford gasped, a bit too dramatically. “I KNEW IT!!! ”
Chapter 25: Too Into the Past to Remember the Present
“WHO did this??” Abe asked loudly. “It certainly wasn’t me! No, somebody - NOT me - must have moved him between the time I was the last person alone with the body in the room, and then stepped out for a few minutes to take care of some personal business that YOU don’t need to know about!”
Abe shoved a face on Yin’s nose. Wilford wanted to smack it off. “Stop being rude! ”
Abe shuffled around his vest. “Could have been anybody… ‘cept me.”
Wilford rolled his eyes. Why did Abe have to be so informative and defensive over everything back then??
“He’s lucky to have you now,” Dark suddenly said. “He needed some kind of stress relief when he was obsessing over you.”
Wilford smirked. “I know~”
“What the hell happened here?” Benjamin strolled in, dazed.
“The body’s been moved,” Abe replied.
“On its own?? ”
“No, of course not.” 70% of sarcasm has taken over Abe’s voice. “Unless it did.”
All of them balked at the sudden thought of a zombie on the grounds, while Yin quietly shook their head.
“In which any case, we’ve got way bigger problems than a simple-”
Wilford plugged in his ears to muffle out the thunder and lightning when Abe finished his sentence with the word, “Murder”. Chief ran in. “What the hell happened here?!”
“The body’s moved!” Benjamin exclaimed.
“On its own?!” Chief asked.
“We haven’t quite ruled that out just yet,” Abe cut in. “But let’s not forget, we’ve got a murderer-”
Lightning and thunder was heard again, both making Wilford and Yin jump, because William was suddenly right between the two!
“Bully!” he exclaimed. “Quite a storm out there, eh, chaps? What are you doing huddled in here in fear?”
The Colonel ducked down from under the caution tape, literally entering himself into the scene. Wilford just casually walked through.
“We have a zombie problem!” Chief exclaimed, pointing to the taped outline of Mark’s body.
Wilford chuckled lightly. “This guy gets it! ”
“Ah, Homonecrosis!” William grinned. “The MOST dangerous game! Well… if someone needs to put the old lad down again, I’m well up for the privilege.”
Abe’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean ‘again’? And what do you mean by ‘privilege’??”
The Colonel blinked. “Well, I’m just saying, I’ve got plenty of…”
He gestures himself and his outfit. “Experience on the matter.”
Army days. Chief nodded. “So do I.”
“Yeah, but that just raises more questions,” Abe replied.
Yin looked like they were deciding whether they thought this was funny or not. William took huge steps over the caution tape, ignoring Abe.
“I’m off to the grounds to see if I can catch a whiff of the old bag of bones.” He started laughing on his way out.
“Wait,” a sudden confused Butler started. “Weren’t you and Mark the same age?”
William’s laugh ended with a small cough. Abe sighed. “Alright. I don’t trust him. Then again, I don’t trust anyone.”
Wilford felt like his chest was punched over fifty times. “You don’t trust me, Abe…? ”
“This was all in the past, Will,” Dark said. “Abe has completely changed his mind about you now.”
Wilford ignored Dark’s statement, and emotionally stomped off to follow his past self. “I’ll ask him that when we go home.”
“If you want to.”
Wilford didn’t say anything, only following the Colonel around the house. “Before all the chasing, the dancing, the crime-solving, everything, he…”
“What does he know?” William muttered. “He doesn’t know I killed him. Jumping into conclusions so quickly, that asshat.”
“HE. CAME. BACK.” Wilford growled. “STOP! ASSUMING!! ”
Ugh, Wilford just wanted to slap his past self for not knowing this!! He also wanted to slap Abe for not trusting him! He’s gonna be his best friend in the future! Shouldn’t he know that?? Shouldn’t everybody know everything that’s gonna happen in Wilford’s future?!
Lightning flashed again, interrupting William and Wilford’s thoughts. Must have been Abe saying “Murderer” again.
“Dickrat,” Wilford mumbled. “This is NOT MY KIND OF WEATHER, ABE! ”
A few of the house’s inhabitants looked up. And all went back to doing whatever it was they were doing. William sighed, again, for the hundredth time. He and Wilford could hear a bunch of chatter from Abe, not-so-far away. “ ... there’s gonna be no simple candlestick-in-the-library solution to this whole… puzzle. So, we’re gonna have to do the detectively thing, and go through the victim’s most private and personal possessions. … Well? After you.”
Chapter 26: (no comment)
Both of the Wills’ quietly crept in the room, not getting any attention from Abe or Yin. Yin was holding a picture frame of… something, and the second they lowered it, the Colonel was in their vision, making them jump. Wilford giggled, but felt a bit sorry to. After all, the attorney wasn’t the person he was angry at here. “You’re quite on the case, aren’t you? Say, Detective? May I borrow your friend here?”
Abe glared at the Colonel, holding onto a red pair of boxers. Wilford avoided eye contact. “Yeah, sure. Don’t worry, Partner. I’ll take it from here.”
William smiled slightly. “Bully.”
He herded the attorney out of the room, not picking up Yin’s sudden fearful vibe. Maybe because of his unintentional mix of tired, and threatening in his voice. This just made Wilford remind himself that he only had two best friends during his first 28 years of his life. Welp.
“I hope we don't kill ‘em. They’re nice,” Wilford mumbled. Loud ringing was suddenly heard. Dark must have been feeling something.
“Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but…” the Colonel started, with him, Yin, and Wilford suddenly outside near a pool. “You and the mayor know each other, right?”
Yin nodded with a small smile, making William grin. “He’s a good man, that one. We’ve been fast friends for as long as I can remember. Of course, I could say the same thing about Mark, but…”
Remembering the things Mark has acted, William clenched his fist, and cleared his throat. “Well… best not to speak ill of the dead.”
“But I just spoke ill of him, like, an hour ago,” Wilford said.
William looked behind Yin’s shoulder, eyes narrowing before exclaiming, “OH! The pool hasn’t aged a day!!”
Yin turned, suddenly seeing a pool next to them. Wilford cackled as both he and Yin turned back to see the Colonel in a one-piece swimsuit, with a small, tan hat. “GERONIMO!!!”
William launched himself in the pool. Yin started giggling silently, covering their mouth with their hand. There might be a little bit of sound coming from Yin, actually! Wow!
“Have you seen the Colonel?” Damien peered from the corner, right behind Yin and Wilford.
Yin flinched, looking startled. They glanced over at the pool in confusion, but all that showed was William’s hat floating in the water. Wilford tried to keep his mouth shut from laughing at his past self’s excitement just over a pool. Damien slicked back a small bit of hair that was hanging over his forehead. “I thought I heard him… I need to speak with him. I may have been a little short on our last encounter.”
Wilford’s laughter vanished, sighing sadly. “Awww. I feel bad now.”
“Well, if you do see him, let me know.” As soon as Damien walked off, William bursted out of the water with a big smile on his face, under his soaking wet mustache. It’s kind of adorable. “BULLY!!!”
Yin let out a little squeak. As soon as they turned again, and right back, William was standing right next to them, fully clothed, all dry. Wilford practically freaked out, “HOW DID I DO THAT?!! ”
“Life needs a bit of madness, eh, chap?” the Colonel asked, grinning widely. “Now, what were we talking about?”
Not even a second has passed, and then he remembered. “OH, yes! The grimsly business inside! Well, I’m probably not the first to say that our host had… a great deal of enemies, as of late. My prying eye might suspect that… the people who worked for him, might have reason to stab him in the back. God knows he’s a tough son of a bitch to work for.”
His head perked. “Oh! The old golf course! I’ll go fetch my clubs!!”
Watching the giddy Colonel run off across the golf course makes both Wilford and Yin want to join, but…
“Colonel?” Damien called out. “Damn, I thought I heard him…! No matter… Would you accompany me? There’s something I would… very much like to discuss with you.”
Yin’s eyes widened, and their expression turned almost hopeful. Wilford’s interest in wanting to play golf with his past self completely vanished. It always feels like Damien has some kind of presence that makes you want to stay and talk with him for hours.
“Now, I know you’ve been assisting our intrepid detective with his investigation, but… I have to bring some concerns of mine to the forefront. If we look at this situation logically, we can only assume that the killer who struck down Mark was with us last night.”
“And while I would stake my life on the innocence of the Colonel, or yourself, can we really say the same, of our beloved detective?”
Wilford scoffed. “Not anymore.”
Damien’s eyes narrowed. “Or, worse yet, mayhaps our counting skills aren’t as good as we assume them to be. And mayhaps… in the shadows of this manor, unseen to any of us, lay hidden…” He paused, looking Yin square in the eyes. “A murderer.”
As thunder rumbled quietly at his last word, a gunshot cracked inside of the living room. The mayor and the attorney shared a brief, frightened look before he grabbed their hand, both of them running towards it. Wilford practically flinched, running right after them. “Hey, hey, hey, hey, wait for me!! ”
The three burst through the door inside the living room, with the Colonel, and Abe pointing their guns at each other. Wilford groaned loudly. “Awwwwwwww, of COURSE we’re at gunpoint war! Dark, what’d I miss?? ”
“While you were looking for your golf clubs and Damien said ‘murderer’, you didn’t expect the thunder, causing you to accidentally pull your gun out and almost shoot Abe. Luckily though, you shot a vase. And at this point, Abe is convinced completely that you were the murderer.”
Wilford crossed his arms, sighing. “Of course he is. He knows Mark came back, why can’t he just drop the act already? ”
“Will, nobody knows Mark came back.”
“Of COURSE nobody knows! ” Wilford shouted. “ Just like EVERYBODY ELSE IN THIS DAMN WORLD! ”
“I don’t know what you’re planning at, but you better drop your weapon, you murderer!” Abe commanded, with lightning flashing from outside again. Wilford clenched his fists, gritting his teeth. Trigger words…
“I AM NOT A MURDERER! ” he screamed. “ABE, YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS! ”
“I bloody well won’t!” the Colonel exclaimed. “YOU’RE the one who assaulted me! For all I know, you could be the murderer!”
Lightning flashed again.
“LAST chance! Drop your weapon!”
Benjamin whimpered something about a vase in the corner.
“Everyone, PLEASE!” Damien demanded attention in the most desperate way possible. “I know we’re all on edge, but can’t we resolve this amicably?!”
“Yeah, listen to Damien!! ” Wilford exclaimed. “He’s the one who is the real authority here!! ”
William started backing Abe up against the wall slowly.
“‘On edge’?!” Abe asked loudly. “This PSYCHO tried to shoot me!”
Wilford growled under his breath.
“That’s a bold-faced lie!” William exclaimed. “I was merely doing some light target practice-”
That’s a lie, definitely. The Butler stomped right on over to William, bapping his face with a broom. “INSIDE?!”
“W- YES!” William yelled VERY defensively. “But I couldn’t do it in the grounds now, with that bloody Chef in my way, could I?!”
Chief hopped right next to the Colonel, ladle in hand. “Damn right! You should have remembered that, Private!” He tapped Will’s hat with the ladle. “Besides! You’re not my boss anymore!”
“I’m getting sick of this…” Wilford covered his ears. “Dark, how much longer…? ”
“Halfway there, Wilford,” Dark replied, softly. “You’re alright.”
The Colonel continued edging Abe against the wall.
“You knew I was onto you, so you could WACK me off before I could finger you!” … “AS THE MURDERER!”
It’s hilarious how Abe still makes those little mistakes when he’s trying to be serious. But Wilford hates Abe for now, so it’s not as funny to him anymore.
Anyway. Lightning flashed again.
William’s brows furrowed. “I will NOT be called a murderer-” Lightning flashed again. “-IN MY OWN HOME!!!”
Chapter 27: Best Lady Ever Saves the Day!
Everyone in the room, including Wilford, held their breath as Celine stepped in. Wonderful timing, too, because it looked like William and Abe were both about to pull their triggers at the same time. Celine slammed the door from behind.
“What are you doing?!” she asked loudly.
“Who the hell are you??” Abe ignored Celine’s question. William lowered his gun.
“Celine, what are you doing here…?” he asked softly. Before Celine could even say anything, Abe cut himself in. Rude. Will slowly aimed his gun near Abe as soon as he spoke.
“How the hell do you know her? ” he asked. Suddenly, the Butler butted in the conversation, making William flinch, aiming at him. He basically aims at whoever is talking, all except for Celine, Yin, and Damien. Protectiveness at its finest.
The Chef put in bluntly, “How can I put this delicately…? MARK’S FUCKING DEAD!”
“What…?” Celine stepped back.
“Dead like my hopes and dreams… And he’s a flesh-eating zombie, too,” Chief added.
“Homonecrosis…” Celine looked over at William. He nodded enthusiastically, waving his magnum around.
“Exactly!” he exclaimed. “Hence the guns!”
“That is not ‘HeNcE tHe GuNs’!” Abe mocked, waving his pistol.
“Stop waving those bloody guns around!” Benjamin commanded, only leading to Abe, William waving both their weapons in front of the butler’s face, with Chief shoving his ladle on his nose.
“Stop, hold on!” Celine threw her hands between the gun/ladle chaos, making the three stop. Wilford giggled. “Just tell me what happened! How did Mark… die?”
“It was murder,” Damien replied with the lightning flashing again. His voice was calm. “And worse yet… the body is missing.”
“What he means is, he’s alive and well, my love! ” Wilford exclaimed, trying to pat Celine’s shoulder. “Case closed! ”
“Show me,” Celine said. “And don’t say that word.”
“What word? Murder?” Chief asked.
Thunder. Everybody is suddenly transported in the party room. The woman looked at the Chef in exasperation. “Yes, THAT word!”
“Well… ‘murder’-” Lightning and thunder again. “-is a rather accurate description of what occurred-” Celine tapped Ben’s shoulder before he could finish.
“Do you not see the lightning??” she asked, gesturing outside.
“FINALLY, somebody said it! ” Wilford exclaimed, throwing his hands around Celine. “Thunder and lightning are NOT my forte! ”
“Are you saying it was lightning that murdered-” Thunder again. “-Mark?” Abe asked. The Colonel flinched his magnum up towards the ceiling. He sighed.
“Well… Mother Nature doesn’t really strike me with murderous-” Thunder again. “-intent… Unless you coUNT THAT TIME I WAS SUCKED INTO THE BOARD GAME JUMANJI, AND I WAS-”
“Stop, stop,” Celine rested a hand on William’s shoulder, instantly making him calm. “Look, whatever is happening here is tapping into forces far beyond our control!”
The seven in the room quieted, pondering this, until the Chef quietly mumbled, “Murder.” Thunder rumbled warningly outside.
“Mur...doch?” William tested, gun pointed to the ceiling. Nothing.
“Malarkey,” Abe said slowly. Nothing.
Wilford fiddled his fingers in the air. “Morpers…”
Everybody looked over at Benjamin. “Marco!”
A loud clash of lightning flashed, with everybody (including Wilford) was transported all around a table.
“Enough!” Celine exclaimed. “Look, Mark’s death is a terrible thing indeed. But I fear that there are forces much darker than anything we’ve seen here today. I’m now well versed in the arcane arts, but if you, un trained and un initiated, can summon lightning, with a mere word, we’re all in far graver danger than anything we could ever hope to face alone. We’re going to have work together if we’re gonna survive this.”
Fat chance of that happening, given the situation and the people. Damien shot a look over to Yin, who shrugged. “Celine… what are you proposing?”
“We need to speak with Mark.” She said this as casually as ‘I’m going to go to the library.’
The Chef smacked his fist to the table. “I knew it! Mark's a flesh-eating zombie!”
“Maybe one of those smart zombies!” William suggested. “Homeosapiozombifus???”
“Ha! I didn’t even know that was what it was called! ” Wilford exclaimed. “I’m smart! ”
“No, no!” Celine exclaimed. “I need to commune with the dead.”
“That…” Abe started. “That doesn’t sound like a good idea…”
Celine glared at him. “Well, it’s a good thing I never needed your permission.”
Wilford, William, and the Butler quietly giggled under their breath. The detective pouted. They liked her already. Celine then pointed at Yin, making them point at themselves, a bit confused. “And you…! you’ve been awfully quiet through this whole thing…”
Suddenly, everybody started glaring at Yin, all except for Damien, Wilford, and the Colonel.
“With those beady little eyes,” Chief scowled.
“And wearing those rags?” Benjamin scoffed. Abe sighed through his teeth.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have trusted someone so goddamn gorgeous,” he said. … Yin had no idea if that was supposed to be an insult or not.
Damien just said nothing. Both William and Wilford looked at everybody around the table, dumbfounded. Just by Yin looking at him, hoping for an insult, William kindly skipped his round. “I’ll pass.”
Yin looked over at Damien, who quietly shook his head.
“But I feel like I can trust you,” Celine said, softly. “I sense that you have a far greater part to play in all of this… Will you help me find an answer?”
“Celine, if Mark was actually dead and if I was Yin right now, I would help with all my heart and soul.” Wilford knelt down on his knees right next to Celine with big, puppy eyes. Yin nodded, smiling slightly, insisting to help.
“Perfect,” Celine grinned. She stood up from her chair. “Come with me-”
Before she could actually leave the table, Abe, because OF COURSE, cut in. “Alright, that’s enough. I’m not just gonna sit around here, and let you drag my partner off into their very likely death!” He stands up. “I won’t stand for it!”
“Well, I trust Celine with all my heart!” William exclaimed, defensive. He stands up as well. “I see no reason why anyone should doubt her!”
Wilford quietly cheered. “Yay me~! ”
“Well,” Benjamin cut in quietly, “I have to agree with our intrepid detective here. It just doesn’t seem… natural.”
Chief grumbled, “I never liked this uptight asshole. Walks around with a stick up his ass… but I think Ben’s right, something’s weird.”
Celine rolled her eyes. “If it makes you feel any better, you guys can stand watch outside the door. But my work CANNOT be interrupted.”
“Oh, believe you me,” Abe said. “I’ll be keeping a close eye on every single one of you. Even myself. … Especially myself.”
He looked down a bit as Celine stood back up from her chair, with Yin following close behind. Damien suddenly got up, probably wanting to say something… “Are you alright? I know this news can’t settle well with you…”
Celine brushed her brother’s hand off her shoulder. “I’m fine for now.”
William and Wilford just watched the twins and attorney go upstairs. Both of them didn’t know if they should follow them up or not.
“But, all this talk of the occult- and- and Mark is dead- wait!” Damien was running after his sister up the stairs, Yin trailing closely after him. “... I just didn’t think you were the type to become mixed up with all this.”
“There’s more than this world than you could ever hope to imagine,” Celine replied, something along the lines of passion creeping into her voice. “I just had my eyes open to a small portion of it.”
“I… just be careful…” he called to her, though she did not spare him a glance after rounding the stairs. Catching Yin’s gaze, the mayor opened his mouth to say something, but quieted when they put their hand against his cheek. “You too.”
The Colonel slowly scooted away from the table, only leading to Abe - BECAUSE OF COURSE - caught him by the collar. “You heard me, Colonel. I’m keeping an eye on you.”
William eyed over near a certain statue. “Hey, I think that statue is very Mark sized. Perhaps his corpse is hidden somewhere in there. Would you go over and check it out?”
Abe’s eyes darted at the statue, and ran right over to it. Both William and Wilford quietly walked up the stairs. The Colonel avoided eye contact with Damien as he passed by him. Wilford, apologetically, waved.
Chapter 28: A Letter She'll DEFINITELY Like to See
William put his ear against the door, hearing occasional muffled dialogue from Celine to the attorney. Wilford shoved his head through the door a bit too roughly, seeing a green lit room, with Yin and Celine sitting on a tiny table, across from each other. Little cards, an ouija cloth, one of those fortune teller ball things, and a magic 8 ball were scattered all over the table. What kind of arcane arts stuff did Celine do while she was away??
Yin looked around the table, more than a little lost. Wilford was downright flummoxed. His head slowly floated out through the door with a blank expression. Too weird from the love of his life for him to handle. “I’m gonna… go in my room.”
Coincidentally, William was already off to his room anyway. He plopped onto his bed, taking off his hat. Wilford flew right through the door, as soon as William tore off his glasses and rubbed his face with his hands. “HhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAGH.”
Will eyed over to his desk, seeing a dusty pile of written letters from Celine. He sloppily got up, and flopped his hands on the pile. “Empty paper, please…”
Just by random chance, William grabbed a piece of paper that has not been written on yet, and pulled out a hidden pen from his breast pocket. “I won’t be the only killer in this house once she reads this…”
I don’t know how to tell this delicately… Mark is dead because of me. A simple game of Russian Roulette led to this mess. No, me falling in love with you had. I don’t regret loving you, but I do feel guilty for not thinking about the consequences. I should really work on that, considering the mess we’ve got ourselves into. The Russian Roulette game was supposed to be a sign of a truce, but… I think you might know the rest. You’re smart like that.
If you end up hating me for killing, I understand. I’m an eccentric, after all. I am - as the Detective put it earlier - a psycho. Seems more fitting than ‘eccentric’, don’t you think?
… It sounded more funny in my mind.
You probably shouldn’t forgive me if you do. Hell, I don’t even forgive myself. I killed my brother. I still haven’t told Damien. I’ve been avoiding him a lot about it. I feel awful about all of this. Honestly, out of the two of you, I feel as if Damien would be the most emotional if I told him I killed Mark. I suppose you could say that’s why I never had the guts to tell him… yet. I’m planning to, somehow.
I hope reading this won’t put a damper on all our love for each other. I’m so sorry.
- William XOXO ”
Wilford squished his hands against his cheeks, sighing quietly. Definitely different handwriting than how Wilford writes now. He and William suddenly heard Damien scream, “Our friend is DEAD!”
The Colonel sat up, trying to listen in, but Damien was too quiet to continue. He leaned his head on the desk, closing his eyes. He sighed again. Wilford sat down next to the Colonel, watching him fastly fall asleep. Wilford huffed out a small laugh. His past self needed a good nap, huh? A low rumble of thunder was heard outside again, with a quick shock of lightning, but this time, Wilford sat completely still. Even HE was surprised by that!
Then, it was quiet.
Something was wrong.
Chapter 29: Best Cult Ever!
Wilford sat up, trying to listen for some kind of chatter from outside his old room. He shoved his head through his door, hearing for Damien or Celine. Wilford slowly crept down the hallway to Celine’s seer room, and poked his head inside.
The twins were shouting.
“How can you say you don’t care!?”
“No, I DO care, Damien,” Celine said. “I truly care about the death of Mark, I just care more about how a single word can summon an entire thunderstorm in a matter of a millisecond. I just want to see if it could be connected to Mark’s death!”
Damien looked down, tapping a finger on the table, slightly angered. “What good will any of this mystery solving do? It’s not like it’s going to bring Mark back. Why can’t we all just mourn instead of playing real-life Clue?”
Celine shook her head. “And you’d rather want who - or even what - killed him walk off scot-free?”
“Of course not!” Damien exclaimed. “I’d rather just call the authorities to go find whoever the killer was and put him in jail for a lifetime! It’s that simple! If the Detective wasn’t such a showoff, we’d all probably be in bed by now!”
“Listen, Damien,” Celine started. “I don’t like the situation we’re all in either, nobody does. I’d love to get out of it, but we all have to go through obstacles. And if the killer has the intent to hurt us, or our friends, I’d much rather catch him before anyone else gets hurt, Damien. Especially you.”
Damien rose a finger with his jaw hanging. “... That’s true. I’m sorry. Everything has… thrown me in a loop today.”
Wilford watched Celine gently rest a hand on her brother’s shoulder. “It’s fine.”
She eyed over to her bag on the floor. “Sit down. I want to try something.”
Damien cautiously watched Celine kneel over, and dig through her bag. Wilford walked right on over next to her.
“I think… I know what could be causing the lightning,” Celine said. “We just need to say this specific chant to summon it.”
Damien slowly sat down, as Celine put down a piece of paper on the table. He picked it up. “... ‘Thunder my anger-’”
“Don’t read it out loud yet!” Celine exclaimed. “I think we may need to say it together.”
Wilford sat on the table, in front of Celine’s fortune telling ball. The twins sit across from each other, with their fingertips touching.
“We’ll both say it until lightning is seen again, alright?” Celine asked. Damien swallowed.
“I’m a bit uncertain about all of this,” he started. “But… if you’re 100% positive that this might give us answers… I trust you.”
Celine smiled slightly. “Thank you.”
Wilford watched his friends get themselves situated, both of them taking a few breaths and closing there eyes. Damien recited the chant in his head over and over again so he and Celine could say it in sync.
“Thunder my anger,
Lightning my might,
Bring to me clouds,
Black as night.
Thunder my anger,
Lightning my might,
Bring to me clouds,
Black as night!
Thunder my anger,
Lightning my might,
Bring to me clouds,
Black as night!!
Thunder my anger,
Lightning my might,
Bring to me clouds,
Black as night!!!”
All at once, the room went still, and a high-pitched whine entered the room. “I see… the little twins, trying to show their hand. How cute.”
A loud, sudden clash of lightning hit Damien, making both Wilford and Celine jump and scream to their feet. “DAMIEN!!! ”
“Funny how the Groundskeeper has always warned you about this house.” With colors flying all around him, Damien slowly got up, hugging his stomach. It sounded like the voice was coming from him. “But even HE never knew about me.”
Wilford slowly took a step back, trying to guard Celine, but she obviously steps right through him like a ghost.
“Damien, are you alright??” she asked, trying to reach out to her younger twin. “Answer me!”
Damien’s hair was falling on his face as he looked up with pitch black eyes, grinning creepily. “I’ve never been better~”
Wilford clung onto Celine’s curtains on the wall, muttering, “Holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit…”
Will could feel a quick presence of Abe, Chief, Yin, Benjamin, and… somebody else. Wilford couldn’t tell who it was.
Celine tried to touch Damien’s shoulder, only leading to him wapping it away. Thunder rumbled from outside, making Damien’s colors fade away. He collapses on the floor, with a tiny spark of colors floating in the air.
“Your turn, Celine~” the voice said. Celine threw her arms around her face, as if that’s going to stop the GHOST COLORS from attacking her. “NO-!”
Lightning flashed as soon as she was taken over. Unlike Damien, Celine was standing up, clenching her fists, as strong bright colors were flying all over. All of this has made Wilford fall over, right next to Damien’s body. He felt so helpless.
Celine (or was it…?) swiftly walked over to the door, hearing a commotion from out the room. She slammed the door open, with a strong wind coming from the room.
Suddenly, a fragile looking old man with blonde hair ran over to the door, trying to shut it. “Somebody help me!!”
Yin ran right over to help. Wilford got up, reaching out to them. “YIN, WAIT! ”
With the colors fading away from Celine, the door shut. Celine collapsed to the floor.
Wilford stood completely still, traumatized. “Dark… are you there…? ”
After a quick moment of silence, Dark’s voice was heard. Sorrow can be heard in every word. “I’m right here, Will.”
“What. The FUCK. Was that.”
Another moment of silence. Wilford could feel his legs trembling, the more he looked at the dead twins.
“That…” Dark started. “Was me.”
Wilford backed into the corner, hugging his knees and looking around wildly. “You…? What did you do to them?!? ”
“Remember my Upside Down when Mark first committed suicide? ” Dark asked. Wilford nodded, scaredly. “You’ll see.”
Chapter 30: Accidents Happen
Wilford slowly got up, as soon as he heard his past self ask, “What the hell is going on? Where is Celine?”
Wilford shakily strolled through the - now locked - door, seeing the same old man with the blond hair casually walking past everyone. “She’s gone, and so is everyone else.”
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Abe shouted after him.
The old man barely spared them a glance. “Away from here. This place is cursed- if you’d half a brain, you would all do the same.”
Looking around wildly, William screamed, “Don’t walk away from me!!” The door snapped shut as the man disappeared. “Where’s Celine…?! Where’s Damien?!”
Everyone couldn’t answer. Chief gripped on his ladle. “I’ve spent the last 25 years, cooking for these uppityfucks, I’m NOT about to die for ‘em! I QUIT! BITCH!”
He storms off. It may have been the wrong time, but Wilford, traumatizedly, wooed for him. “You go, Chief… chase your dreams…”
Wilford glanced behind him, staring at the Seer’s door.
Benjamin gently put a hand on the Colonel’s shoulder.
“I know things seem far beyond your control right now,” he said. “And such as it is for all of us here. I shall take my leave, and I implore you to do the same.”
Both Wilford and William glared at the Butler. The Colonel gritted his teeth. “I won’t let my friends die in this godforsaken house. And if you all are too much of a coward to do the same, you had best leave before I kill you myself.”
Wilford, siding with his past self, strolled right on through Abe and Yin to follow him. Abe suddenly grabbed William’s collar. “Hold on a minute, I’ve still got questions-”
“GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME,” William snapped. Even that made Wilford stop in his tracks. He didn’t continue on as Abe started to chase after William. He turned to see Ben… “comforting” Yin.
“I know he’s in pain,” he said. “And I know you might be too… But we need to leave this place. There is only death here now.”
Yin glanced between Benjamin and the door a few times, slowly shaking their head. There was a look in their eyes that told him that the attorney wanted… needed to know what had happened to the twins, to Damien. But the Butler walked off anyway. Wilford really wanted to try to tell Yin what happened to them, but… he had no idea how to put it into words. Literally. Author Abby doesn’t even know how to describe it without the tragicness of it! It’s awful!
Wilford tried to poke Yin’s shoulder. To Wilford’s second round of pure shock, Yin flinched and turned. Did… Did Wilford actually get their attention? For once?? Unfortunately, no. As convinced as Wilford was, as he and Yin were staring directly at each other, Yin was just staring at nothing. Because of course they were.
Before Wilford could try to say anything, Yin’s form starts to wave around slightly. They stared at the door, something akin to Celine’s soft voice whispering right next to their ear. With the blink of an eye, Yin was gone. Wilford took a step back, clutching onto his sleeves. He starts shakily walking down the stairs, trying to find Yin.
“Let me help you,” Dark said. Wilford then felt a hand on his shoulder, and after a second, Wilford was right next to the Colonel. He was heading to a room that Wilford has never seen before. Through a small window, Wilford spotted that Yin was inside.
“There you are!” William exclaimed. “I’ve been meaning to ask you… some…”
He quieted at seeing the den of madness inside. “What the hell…?”
Wilford peeked over the Colonel’s shoulder like a scared child, and just saw… lots of things… Sticky-notes, newspaper articles, crime records, not only for William, but from the others that have just left the house.
William took a quick step forward into the room, picking up a newspaper header of somebody who looks like him in the middle of the woods; “SAFARI HUNT GONE WRONG??” Wilford tilted his head. That must be some kind of header about his time in Jumanji. Even though he doesn’t remember a thing of it, but it must be!
“What is this?” William asked Yin, stern. Yin just shrugged, worried as ever. Both the Wills walked over to a huge cork board, keeping his, Ben’s, Chief’s, Damien’s, Celine’s, even Abe’s crime records tagged up. Wilford would recognize this cork board from anywhere.
“The Detective’s been keeping… tabs on us?” the Colonel asked. Yin just said nothing. Wilford glared over at two sticky notes hung on a cupboard, one says; “DON’T THE”, the other; “TRUST SEER”.
“Already beat you to it, Abe,” Wilford muttered. “It’s Celine, so I already trust her with my life.”
“The Detective’s been keeping tabs on me,” William sneered. “And Celine…”
William turned around to the attorney, fists clenched and snarling, “He’s the one who orchestrated ALL of this…!”
Yin didn’t look so sure, but characteristically said nothing.
“He DID THIS!” Breaking no strides, the Colonel grabbed his pistol from his boot, practically running from the room. “DETECTIVE!?”
Yin and Wilford followed him immediately. “DETECTIVE!!!”
Wilford ran right through his past self, almost tripping over the staircase. “Hey, hey, hey! Now let’s not jump into conclusions, me!! It was Mark!! ”
“Where is he??” William had a crazed… everywhere, all over him. “He took them from me… He took my friends from ME. He took my Celine… he took Damien… Where IS he???”
Yin quietly followed after him, picking up the pace, and from the general manner of how they moved, it looked like they were trying to get him to calm down.
“WHERE IS HE!?”
The Colonel stormed in multiple rooms to hunt Abe down. “DETECTIVE! ARE YOU HIDING HIM FROM ME?!”
He shoved Yin past him, checking another room.
Wilford was already ahead his past self, trying to find Abe, but not in a crazed rage. “Aaaaaaabe?? I may hate you right now, but I REALLY REALLY HATE YOU RIGHT NOW!! You gotta run, ‘cause Past Me is SUPER PISSED!! ”
Of course, he’d forgotten that the detective couldn’t perceive him, and fell into a blind panic after hearing the tell-tale click of a safety being turned off. “ABE! ”
“DETECTIVE!!!” The Colonel and Yin both swiftly ran past Wilford, finally reaching the Detective. He looked like he was trying to break into Celine’s Seer room. Abe turned, and immediately drew out his gun from in his coat.
“You better choose your next words carefully, Colonel,” he ordered.
“Only my friends get to call me by that name,” William growled. “And you, sir, are NO FRIEND OF MINE!”
“YES HE IS, YOU IDIOT!!! ” Wilford shouted, trying to guard Abe from himself.
Abe chuckled. “Oh, you’re one to talk about friends, you MURDERER!”
Lightning flashed, making Wilford cover his ears. “I’M NOT A MURDERER, ABE! ”
“I didn’t kill ANYBODY!” William insisted, looking over his shoulder for a quick second to see if Yin was safe from behind. “This is MADNESS!”
“You wanna talk about madness?” Abe asked. “Madness is stealing your best friend’s wife!”
“Abe, stop! ” Wilford shouted. He tried to grab his gun, but only to almost fall off the balcony. He caught himself, by hanging onto the railing, and quickly climbed over.
Yin grabbed William by the shoulder to try to get him away from Abe, but that only made William shove them back behind him, protecting them.
“Madness is squeezing him for cash so you could fund your own sick, sexual exploits with that very woman!” Abe continued.
Both the Wills shouted in unison, “SHUT UP!”
“Madness is plotting the death of your own childhood friend because yOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH-!!! ”
William pulled his trigger, right to Abe’s heart. Loud thunder rumbled and lightning flashed all over. Wilford and Yin both screamed, “NO!!! ”
Wilford immediately ran right over next to Abe, trying to help him up. “This is what you get for being such a showoff-know-it-all, you DUNCE!!! ”
There was screaming. Wilford thought it could have been coming from Yin, but it very well may have been himself. In the corner of his eye he could see the attorney fumbling with William for the gun, only for one of them - Wilford wasn’t quite sure who - to accidentally brush against the trigger.
Both Wills stared in horror as the attorney’s hands were quickly coated in blood. Yin couldn’t say anything. It must be shock. Their back pressed against the railing of the balcony. Yin’s legs went weak, and they slowly leaned more and more back on the railing. Before they knew it, they started to fall. Wilford quickly got up, both him and William try to grab Yin’s hands. But…
Chapter 31: Don't You Believe It
Wilford clung onto a baluster of the railing, slumping on his knees. As soon as Yin hit the floor, Wilford flinched his eyes closed. He slowly looked up, seeing William staring down the balcony, frozen. William’s grip on his gun loosened, making it fall and clash on the floor.
“Oh God- it… it was an accident, I swear…” William threw a look at Abe, whose eyes were glossy, and a small stream of blood trickled from his nose.
The Colonel’s breathing started to become shaky, and he eventually broke off from being so still, quickly running down the stairs with his hat flying off. Wilford slowly followed, while looking back at Abe’s body.
He’ll come back.
Then, Wilford heard a loud bump from downstairs, followed by a pained groan. “Fuck, my leg… My friend, I’m coming, don’t move… you’ll be alright…”
As soon as Wilford reached the bottom of the stairs, he saw William, holding Yin in his arms, checking for some kind of pulse. It didn’t look like Yin was moving.
“No, no, no-” He shook their body gently, their head lolling to the side. “Please wake up…”
For a few minutes, there was an uneasy sort of stillness. William’s face was pressed against the attorney’s neck and crying softly. Then, shakily, he pulled away, tugging off his jacket.
Wilford slowly sat down on the floor, next to Yin, looking at their lifeless eyes. Their head is lifted up by William, and gently rests them under his jacket like it’s a pillow. William sniffles multiple times, leading to another small round of crying, filled with grief.
Wilford just sat and stared, completely unphased by Yin’s death. Sure, his past self must have felt awful for shooting them, but Yin is going to come back! There’s no need to sob over it!
“You are right about that, Will,” Dark said out of nowhere. “They are going to come back, but, just like Mark… not in the way that you may think.”
Wilford looked up. “Where is he then? ”
“In Damien’s body,” Dark replied, making Wilford blink. “His soul took over it as soon as I… ‘possessed’ him… Mark meant to do it to you, but… once Celine came in, there was a change of plans.”
“... Oh,” Wilford mumbled. “What happened to Celine? Did she come back? ”
Dark was quiet. “My possession has killed her, permanently. I took her soul as soon as I left her body, along with Damien’s. Once Mark woke up in Damien’s body, he took her out of the house and buried her.”
“But… then… where are Damien and Celine’s souls? ” He looked up the the ceiling, as if he was hoping to see them. “Are they watching us? ”
“They’re waiting to speak to Yin.”
By processing everything that Dark just said, Wilford felt a tiny tinge of anger, but brushed it off. Dark killed his friend and lover… “Where? ”
“Close your eyes. ” Dark’s voices drowned out William’s cries. A bit cautiously, Wilford closed his eyes, and opened them as soon as Dark told him so.
Same black abyss, same dust particles floating all around. Back in the Upside Down. Hurray…
At first, he saw nothing except for a spanning blackness. Before Wilford was about to tell Dark, there burned a soft light. Two, actually. Red and blue.
“How long is this going to take? I feel like it’s been hours.”
“They’ll be here soon, Damien. Just be patient.”
“Do you think they got lost? ”
“Shh. Let them find their way.”
“Mmmm… If this whole thing doesn’t go the way we planned, I’m blaming you.”
“... That’s fair. The power of this house made me want to study witchcraft anyway…”
An echo of a body falling startled Wilford, and the twins. They all turn, seeing Mark’s body on the ground, and Yin, standing right in front of it. There was a clear bloodstain near their stomach through their tux-dress. When they saw their friends, the attorney burst into tears. Damien took a step forward to comfort them, but Celine gently stopped him.
“We don’t have a lot of time, Damien,” she whispered. “I’m sorry, but this is our only chance. We have to tell them.”
Damien looked down at Mark’s body. Furrowing his eyebrows, he sighed. “Alright.”
This conversation went unnoticed by Yin, who was currently staring at Mark’s flickering corpse. He suddenly muttered something that caught everyone’s attention. Especially Damien’s. “It’s not fair, is it? ”
Damien scowled. He looked right back up at Yin. “He took EVERYTHING from us. He trapped us in here with this broken shell of a body and no way out.”
Celine, taken back by Damien’s words and sudden mood change took only a second to collect her thoughts. “It’s true. This whole time, I thought it was the house, but… I never thought he’d fall this far.”
“And we played right into his hands! ” Damien exclaimed, slowly losing his temper. “He’s been planning this for years, and now, that son of a bitch is out there, walking around, in MY BODY-! ”
Uneasy, Wilford took steps away from Damien, backing up right next to Yin.
“Hey, it’ll be okay, alright? You’ll be back before you know it…” Wilford mumbled to Yin. The attorney actually looked over at him, and just for a moment, there was something different in their eyes. Wilford wasn’t so sure what it was. It felt like the two were really looking at each other again. Yin shook their head, and looked back at the twins.
Before Damien could even finish his sentence about Mark stealing his body, Celine rested a hand on her brother’s chest. “Damien, we can’t do this right now...”
Damien calmed right down, fidgeting with his fingers harshly. Wilford just noticed that he didn’t have his cane with him anymore.
“Look, I know you have questions,” Celine said to Yin. “But I can’t answer everything right now. Just know that Mark took everything from us, with this twisted quest of vengeance… But death does not mean the same thing here.”
“... What Celine means by that is…” Damien started. His voice was quiet, but still had the stern tone. “This doesn’t have to be the end. You’re trapped in here, just the same as us, but your body, broken as it may be… it’s still out there.”
Processing, Yin nodded and wiped their tears.
“And Mark’s not the only one that can use this place to his benefit,” Celine said. “The same why that I brought you here is the same way that I can send you back.”
Wilford suddenly noticed two different voices, echoing after every single thing that Celine and Damien said. Almost in a very mocking tone. Now, the more he thought about it, the echos in Damien and Celine’s voices almost made the both of them sound a lot like…
“But you can’t survive on your own,” Damien said. “You’re dead, after all… The Colonel sought to that.”
“You can’t blame him,” Celine replied, wholeheartedly. “Honestly, he’s a good man…! But he’s… dangerous now.”
Someone was whispering softly behind them.
“I’m not dangerous…”
Surprisingly enough, Wilford seemed unphased by Celine, the love of his life, calling him dangerous. The more he thought about it, it’s… kind of true. Wilford always insisted that he wasn’t, but… something made his mind click.
“I know this all sounds crazy,” Damien continued softly. “Honestly, I don’t know what the FUCK is going on… but I know that I trust Celine… And if you trust us, just… let me in, and we can fix this. Together.”
Yin looked like they wanted to reach out to them, but the twins still seemed so far away.
“I won’t force this on you,” Celine said. “You have a choice here. Just know that this is the only way you can escape.”
She closes her eyes, and flexes around her fingers. Wilford attempted to rest his chin on Yin’s shoulder. Damien looks at Yin.
“This will work,” he said. The twins’ lights started to fade, making Wilford blink. “I promise.”
The attorney sniffled softly, wiping their eyes again before nodding in permission.
Wilford blinked again, suddenly sitting on a bench, cane in hand. He sat up, right through his past self. Wilford stood up, and knelt back down to look at William. Very quiet. Very tired. Very sad. Wilford looked out the window. Daytime. How long has it been since Yin was dead? Ten hours?
When their body moved, William let out a strangled, happy gasp. There was something… strange in his eyes, even for Wilford’s standards. “They can’t be…”
Chapter 32: What A Punchline
Yin slowly turned around, facing themselves at William. Both of them looked at each other in the eyes. Wilford leaned on the bench, taking the entire moment in. Yin, afraid that William might still have his gun on him, backed away. William stood up, reaching out to them with a hand. “Oh, no, no…! It’s okay…”
“This is the moment, Will…” Dark said, softly. “Just watch.”
Wilford leaned on the bench, taking the entire moment in.
William’s breathing was very shaky, as if he was about to break down into tears again. “I… I thought you were dead… I- I- I mean, of course… you’re not dead…! You’re not- how could you be dead? I mean, I- I wouldn’t have killed you…! I- I didn’t kill you…?”
He and Yin both slowly walked towards each other, near a desk against the wall, with a mirror hung up above it. William’s eyes darted around, frowning for a moment as he looked in Yin’s eyes. He set Damien’s cane down on the desk. Wilford strolled right between his past self and the attorney.
“Of course… I didn’t kill anybody…” William had tears in his eyes again, not of sadness or grief, but… for joy? He started laughing, gripping his hair with a hand.
“It was all a joke!! ” he exclaimed, looking all around the ceiling. His future self and Yin were speechless. He had no idea…
“Of course, it was all a joke!!” William repeated. He pointed at the attorney with a broken grin, chuckling. “Were you in on this??”
The Colonel shakily backed away. “Did Damien put you up to this? Of course he did…! Damien, where are you, you rapscallion??”
Yin and Wilford watched William walk off, calling for Damien and Celine. “Where are you? Celine? Oh, it’s time to come out now! It was good, it was good! You almost had me! Ha! Haha…! ...Celine...?”
Wilford turned, seeing Yin pick up Damien’s cane from the desk. ...Something about their appearance has changed. Black suit, black hair, black eyes, gray skin… They cracked their neck, causing the mirror right in front of them to shatter. A familiar blue and red aura surrounded them. Wilford felt his eyes getting misty. This person is not Yin anymore.
Dark was silent. Staring right into the mirror as if somebody was inside of it. He scowled, and stormed off. Wilford heard some quiet commotion from the other room. He didn’t dare to move.
“You have to leave.”
“Asking who I am is none of your concern. What should be your concern is leaving. Right now. The Detective will get you.”
“W- Why would he?? I didn’t kill anybody! They’re all hiding somewhere, I just know they are! The Detective will come down the stairs and say that this was all a big set up, just you wait!”
“... I don’t have time for this.”
“What are yoooooooouuuuuuuuu…”
“Come with me.”
Wilford, still frozen near the mirror, watched Dark and William slowly walk out of the house. Dark had a hand on his forehead, almost making it look like he was hypnotizing him.
Wilford started to feel a pit in his stomach. He just had another realization that William was really him, having absolutely no idea what happened to his friend and lover, at all. And now, knowing everything that just happened, and knowing that one of his closest friends killed his best friend and lover… it almost makes him want to punch Dark in the face.
Wilford slowly looked over his shoulder, to almost see a silhouette of somebody trapped inside of a mirror, trying to punch through the glass to break free.
“Yin…? Are you in there…? ”
Dark answered him slowly, their voice heavy with grief and remorse. “For all I know, they're still in there, Will.”
It took Wilford a few moments to process this. He clenched his fists, snarling under his breath.
“How could you DO this?! ”
Dark sighed. “I knew you were going to ask that… Hold on.”
Harsh ringing started to pierce Wilford’s ears, making him angrily cover them up with his ears. “Why THEM?! Where did you take me?! TELL ME!”
Wilford just noticed the lilt in his voice coming back. He’s back to wearing his normal clothes from the very start of visiting the house. Same yellow shirt, same tan pants, same faded pink suspenders, same pink bowtie. Present day. Wilford felt a huge headache coming in from the ringing, but he ignored it, just by looking at Dark, who was right in front of him.
“There we are,” Dark muttered. He’s back in his male form, because of course he is. “I only brought you out of the city, to make it easier for you to get away from Abe.”
“That doesn’t answer my first question!” Wilford exclaimed, furrowing his eyebrows. Now, he had to get used to his lilt coming back. Spent a little too much time exploring the past. “How could you take my friends away?! Why didn’t you tell me instead of hiding the truth from me?!”
“I… I needed them, Will,” Dark admitted, glancing down at his hands. “I wanted out so badly, and Mark had provided the path for me to do so.”
Wilford pursed his lips, glancing over at the mirror.
“Wilford, if I told you I killed Damien and Celine because I needed them for power and authority, you would be killing me multiple times,” Dark continued. “You’d never be able to move on from it. I saw the possibility the second I became what I am. Damien and Celine never wanted me to tell you anyway. Besides wanting to hunt down Mark for stealing Damien’s body, the first thing he and Celine wanted was for you to be happy, but… I’ve been wanting to tell you for so long. Even I knew that the truth would ruin you.”
Wilford was looking down at the floor, with his fists still clenched. Dark took a slow step to him. “Will, I’m-”
Wilford shot Dark a livid look that almost made his aura crack. “That cane is Damien’s.”
Dark peered down at the old cane he had in his hand. He kind of forgot he had it with him this entire time he was alive. Wilford quickly leaned over and snatched it. “This isn’t meant to be yours.”
“Just STOP trying to convince me you’re sorry!” Wilford sneered. “You’ve lied to me the entire time we’ve been friends! How am I supposed to trust you now?!”
Dark opened his mouth to say something, but Wilford suddenly trying to yank the mirror off the wall stopped him. “Wilford, what the hell are you doing?!”
“None of your business,” Wilford replied with Damien’s cane in between his teeth. He muttered under his breath, “bastard.”
Dark threw his hands on Wilford’s shoulders to pull him away from the mirror, but that only made the mirror fly right off the wall, with Wilford clinging onto the old dusty frame. Dark almost stumbled over a table with a dead plant sitting on the center. “Wilford, stop…”
Wilford clenched onto Damien’s cane with one hand, and the mirror with his arm. Dark tried to grab Wilford by the back of his suspenders, but Wilford swiftly ran right over to the front door of the house. Before he attempted to open the door, Wilford froze. “... No wonder why everyone is in denial that people come back from the dead. This is all because of you.”
Dark took another slow step to Will. “Wilford, please, forgive me-”
“It’s all your fault,” Wilford said, opening the door with his cane hand. “Never come near me again.”
Before he shut the door, Dark rushed over to Wilford, and grabbed him on the shoulder. "Will-"
Wilford whirled around, grabbing Dark’s tie and shaking him violently, eyes glowing with a burning sort of pain. “DON’T TALK TO ME! ”
Dark’s form almost fell apart. Wilford shoved Dark away from him and stormed out of the manor, slamming the door. As Wilford muttered something of needing Abe, Dark silently watched him out the window. "Shit."
About ten minutes of walking away from Markiplier Manor, Wilford noticed a huge willow tree. A small gravestone was sitting right next to it, underneath all of the long, droopy branches and leaves. Labeled, “Celine; 1893-1922”
Lip quivering, Wilford shook his head, and continued walking off, all the way back to the Doppelgangeriplier Neighborhood. Specifically his room.
Chapter 33: Good Distraction
The second Wilford FINALLY got in his room, he (gently?) threw Damien’s cane on his bed, and found extremely strong tacks to hang the mirror up on the wall. Wilford tried to look all around the mirror for Yin’s silhouette. Nothing. Wilford sighed. He grabbed his phone from his desk.
3:30 AM, Wednesday, 2019
Warfy: Abe, when is your next day off?
Sherlock Abe: Next Saturday. Why?
Warfy: I want to show you something that I need your help with. It’s important.
Sherlock Abe: Okaaaaayyyyy…? I feel like something might be bothering you. What’s wrong, bud?
Warfy: Long story short; Dark is a dick.
Sherlock Abe: …?
Warfy: I’ll tell you when I’m comfortable. Come over on Saturday if you’re able.
Wilford turned off his phone, and plopped on his bed, right next to Damien’s cane. Everything was quiet, not like that was a bad thing. He expected Dark to burst in his room and blabber out ‘aPoLoGiEs’, but surprisingly, nothing from Dark at all. He probably knew that Wilford needed the solitude. That’s… good, at least. Besides the fact that there were some other Egos that quietly knock on Wilford’s door to check if he’s alright, and sneak in little treats from under the door. Wilford never looked at them, but he did appreciate everybody’s concern.
After about two or three days, Wilford was still lying on his bed, staring at the mirror Yin was - supposedly - still trapped inside of. He had no idea how to free them. He felt awful, imagining how long they had to be stuck inside of that mirror, every day, seeing the same thing over and over and over again. Wilford could imagine going crazy that way.
“M- Mister Warfstache?” A soft voice rang through Wilford’s door… Eric? “Are you okay?”
Wilford sat up, looking at the pile of flattened treats and ‘get well soon’ cards in front of his door. Aww.
“Mister Warfstache?” Eric asked. “I was, um, just wondering w- when we were gonna do that private interview thing…? I- I know you’re probably not doing very well, but… I was just wondering…”
After not speaking for three days, Wilford cleared his throat.
“You can come in, Eric,” he said. “Don’t trip on my pile when you do.”
He heard Eric mumble an unsure, “Okay…”
The door cracked open quietly, with Eric’s small head poking through, looking down at Wilford’s present pile. He stepped around the entire thing, and closed the door behind him. “Hi…”
Chapter 34: Innocent Baby = New Best Friend
Wilford waved, smiling weakly. He patted on his bed next to him, wanting Eric to sit. Somehow, Wilford had a tape recorder in his hand. He pressed the red button to record as soon as Eric sat down.
“I- if you don’t mind me asking… is there something wrong?”
Wilford frowned a little, clasping his hands together.
“Well, that really depends on who’s asking, Eric.”
The boy shook his head quickly, his glasses sliding down his nose. “I… I know you’re mad with Mister Dark, but, he- he won’t tell anyone why, a- and he gets really upset whenever anyone asks him about it.”
At that, Will had to force down a hot flash of anger. Of course Dark wasn’t gonna tell anyone what he’d done- he had to protect his stupid image. “He… He hurt me, and he’s hurt several people I cared about. I thought we were friends for a while, but- well- there’s just some things that you can’t keep from people, Eric, but of course he’d found a way.”
“He seems really sorry,” Eric replied meekly. “I bet he is…”
Wilford smiled softly, appreciating Eric’s coy enthusiasm. “Probably not, though. He’s a liar. He hid this whole story from me for almost a century, and it would have been SO SIMPLE if he just told me about it way back then!”
Wilford glanced at Eric, who was silently clinging onto his bright yellow cloth.
“Sorry you had to hear all that,” Wilford mumbled. “You’re too innocent to hear these kinds of things from me. I had to vent.”
“No, i- it’s okay,” Eric replied quickly. “M- My dad does it a lot too.”
...Oh yeah. Eric’s crappy excuse of a father. He’s still a thing, huh? Wilford hummed and shook his head.
“Anyway…” After three days of total silence and being alone in his thoughts, Wilford wanted to have some kind of distraction away from it all. So, Eric coming in was good timing. “To try to change the mood, I have a little tape recorder here, so we can just start our private interview whenever~”
Eric nodded, with a small rarely seen smile. “Well… didn’t I already kind of tell you about myself a few days ago? My dad owns a big charity warehouse, I’m the youngest out of my… 15 brothers, I was… born with no legs, remember?”
Wilford took a breath, trying to remember. “............”
“It’s okay if you forget,” Eric said. “I’m alright with telling you again if you want me to.”
Wilford smiled, genuinely. “I’d like that.”
Eric quietly launched into his tale, explaining why he didn’t care for business, what had happened to his brothers, his girlfriend who’d been eaten by a flock of penguins… It also seemed like Eric lost his nervous tone the more he spoke. He seemed to have a strong interest in telling stories about himself… about a lot of bad things that have happened to him. It was a lot, but… Wilford’s been through worse.
“I think… we may need to change the subject,” Wilford said, with Eric almost close to tears over telling a story of how one of his brothers almost crushed his mother in a silo. Eric nodded, wiping his eyes. “Anything about you that can be a little…… lighthearted…?”
Eric was quiet, sniffling. His hands were getting veiny from clinging onto his cloth during the entire time. “Well… n- not really… I guess there’s this… one thing that can be a bit… bittersweet, I guess.”
Wilford leaned, curious. “What could that be?”
It’s like he completely forgot about the shattered mirror in his room.
Eric took a small breath. “I have… this thing, that I was diagnosed with when I was… really little, and… my dad doesn’t like that I was. I- It was my mom’s idea, though.”
Wilford’s head tilted. Eric took another breath. “I have this thing called Asperger’s Syndrome.”
Eric almost looked like he wanted to hide his face from under his cloth, but the little high pitched “Oooooo!” from Wilford kept him slightly confident.
“... Do you know what it is?” Eric asked.
“Nope,” Wilford replied, shaking his head. … Well, at least he’s more honest than Eric’s dad… in a much nicer way.
Once Eric started to explain it to him, Wilford began to understand Eric a little more, as well as the difficult relationship he had with his dad. Derek didn’t seem to be the type who would be… patient with this sort of thing, much less understanding.
Differences like that could very well be seen as weaknesses.
“My brothers, Berik, Ferreck, Gerrik, Jerek, Kerik, Lerrick, Merrick, Perek, Querick, Serick, Terrik, Verick, Werek, Yerek, and Zerrick… they all didn’t have Asperger’s, so… I guess that’s another way of saying that I am… different from my family…” Eric said, looking down at his lap. “I remember my dad always reminding me that my brain is defective, and that it’s making me disabled. He says he’ll do yearly charity things for scientists to do research for a cure of this disability.”
“Well, that must be a good thing, right?” Wilford asked. Well… that must be the one GOOD thing that Derek would do for his youngest son… It sounds generous enough…
“I… really don’t like it when he says it,” Eric replied, clenching on his cloth. Wilford blinked. Really?
“I don’t feel defective… or disabled… or the need to be cured. I like having Asperger’s! It would be like…”
Eric glanced down at his metal gray prosthetic legs. “It would be like replacing my old legs with new ones, but nobody likes them. It’s… it’s a part of me, you know? That’s not something that you can change without- without taking some of me with it. My dad just wants me more and more like him, but… I don’t want to.”
Wilford scratched the back of his neck. “... He’s not going to replace those legs of yours, is he?”
“No,” Eric replied. He mumbled, “thankfully… But, I mean, everyone can tell these aren’t my ‘real ’ legs, and that I don’t have any. Th- that’s what I like about them. I mean, that… that I don’t have to explain, you know?”
Wilford shrugged. “Well, people can guess both ways; you weren’t born with legs, or you lost them during some kinda catastrophe. You were born without legs, right?”
After a short pause, Eric nodded. “Yup… And since I wear long-sleeved pants anyway, people can’t really tell the difference.”
The reporter grinned. “So, you like your Asperger’s, and you like your prosthetics. Anything else?”
“I…” Eric blushed a little, his glasses fogging up again. Adorable. “I like animals…”
His voice went quiet when he said that. His smile faded. “I really really like them, but… they keep dying around me. I don’t know why. It… weird things keep happening around me, but… they hurt other people more than me… I guess it all started when my brothers… Merrick, and Terrik… they gave me a baby bird, and I fed it worms, and then it exploded! I don’t know why! ...Maybe the worms were radioactive and I didn’t know about it, or… Merrick and Terrik put firecrackers in the bird, and I didn’t know about that either. Lerrick didn’t like that I had to clean all the blood up, though… He liked messy things.”
Eric shrugged. “We had a dog, but it ran away a while after that.”
“... Doesn’t sound TOO bad…” Wilford replied, hopeful.
Eric looked down. “He… we found him hit near the train tracks.”
Wilford winced. Ouch…
“And… we all had our own dogs,” Eric continued. “My dog was an Australian shepherd, I think. He was a good dog… but when all of my brothers won an auction… they all brought their dogs, and mine… ‘cause I wasn’t invited… they all went on a bus to get their prize, and… um…”
Eric started to get tears in his eyes, squeezing onto his cloth. Wilford had a vivid image of a newspaper headline with a picture of a crashed bus in a canyon. Eric began shaking, trying to speak, but Wilford gently put a hand on his.
“It’s alright,” he said. “I’m sorry about that.”
“It- it’s… fine…” Eric quickly wiped his eyes, and sighed. Wilford knew he wanted to change the subject.
“Anyways…” Eric said. “What about you? Besides… not liking Dark anymore because of what he did, and… such…”
Wilford looked into the mirror nervously. “I’m hoping to make something right. About my history, and… a friend who’s stuck.”
“Who is it?” Eric asked. Wilford flinched lightly.
“I… don’t know their name, but…” he started. “I want to help them. I just have no idea how. Makes me sad that I can’t.”
Eric shrugged a shoulder. “I’m like that a lot, too. There’s lots of people that I wanna help, but I have no idea how, and that just makes me feel all useless… And my dad says I am anyway, so I guess that doesn’t make much of a difference.”
“Oh, you’re father is just a big ol’ dingus, isn’t he?” Wilford muttered, crossing his arms. Eric blushed while almost smiling.
“I- I- I guess?” he asked, trying SUPER hard not to grin. “I mean, he can be a bit mean to me, but… I’m his son, so I can’t really defend myself when he’s all rude.”
“Oh, please,” Wilford scoffed. “I’ve had a twin brother in my lifetime, and he was just awful! I had to defend myself against him almost every single goddamn day of my life! Just because you’re family, it doesn’t give them the excuse to be a pain in the ass.”
Eric’s face softened. “Well… you’re not wrong…”
“Of course I’m not,” Wilford smirked. “I’ve lived more than a century. Lots of knowledge up in here~”
Wilford poked his head, making Eric smile again. God, this kid is adorable. I will protect him with all my life.
“So… you’re immortal?” Eric asked. Wilford shrugged.
“In a way. I do get killed, but I always come back. I’ve counted~” Wilford shrugged. “But… Dark would always shake his head when I’d joke about being invincible… because of course he does…”
Wilford looked down at his lap, feeling his heart sink as soon as he mentioned Dark. “Of course he does…”
Eric leaned over. “Mister Warfstache? Are you okay?”
Wilford glanced over at the boy, who now he instantly considers a new friend. He eyed over at the mirror again. Wilford sighed, and ruffled Eric’s hair, forcing a smile. “I’m alright, chap. I’m just… in a pickle, is all. … It’ll all be okay.”
As long as Dark stays away from Wilford, at least. Everything will be fine… hopefully.
Eric patted Wilford’s leg. “I hope so. I hate conflict between friends.”
“Dark and I aren’t friends anymore, Eric,” Wilford replied, getting the quiet anger in his voice back. “Let’s just say he’s not what he seems at first glance.”
“Oh…” Eric mumbled. “I’ll be careful, then… I heard he can be a bit of a liar…”
“You’re preaching to the choir, kid…” Wilford smirked again.
An awkward silence filled the room. Wilford clasped his hands, and stopped the tape recorder. “Well. That was nice.”
Eric smiled. “Yeah, I really liked that.”
Wilford kindly dismissed Eric to leave his room, but right before Eric opened the door, he turned back over to his new friend.
“Um…” he started. “E- Even if you and Dark aren’t friends anymore… I hope you two patch up, somehow.”
Wilford blinked at that, an odd feeling prickling in his chest. “I don’t… what?”
“ If you wanna make me feel better, then leave. ”
“ Mark, I’m not- ”
“ LEAVE! ”
Wilford gasped, clutching on his heart. “What the hell…?”
“Wilford,” Eric said, worried. “Are you alright??”
Wilford took a few quiet deep breaths, with his grip on his shirt loosening. He glanced at the mirror again, only seeing his reflection. He swallowed. “I’m- I’m okay… I’m sorry, Eric, just… leave for now. I’ll come out soon…”
Eric swallowed, and opened Wilford’s door. “Okay… I’m… I’m glad I was able to make you feel better for a few minutes…”
Wilford slowly lied down on his side on his bed. “Yeah… Thank you…”
The door shut with a small “click!” Hearing Eric’s surprisingly quiet metal feet walk down the hallway made Wilford smile. Sweet kid. Reminds me a lot of…
Wilford frowned as soon as he thought of Damien. The feeling in his chest sank as well. Damien didn’t deserve any of what was given to him… neither did Celine, or Yin… William didn’t. Wilford wondered what would have changed if Dark told him what happened when he was created, instead of hypnotizing him to leave the house. What would Will do? Would he still go crazy either way?
If Dark told William that he’d killed Damien and Celine, he probably wouldn’t have believed him. Dark would have to repeat himself multiple times in order for Will to process. A lot.
Wilford caught a piece of glass cracking on the mirror. He immediately sat up, while getting a dizzy feeling in his head. “Ooof… Yin…? You alright in there?”
No response. A quiet jingle from Wilford’s phone was heard.
3:30 AM, Friday, 2019
Sherlock Abe: Got out of work early, so I’m coming over tomorrow, bud. Now you don’t have to wait for a whole week if you didn’t want to
Wilford smiled, and looked up from his phone to the mirror. He got up to his feet to pat it sympathetically. “Don’t you worry, old friend… we’ll find a way to get you out of there.”
The glass cracked a big more, making Wilford let out a hysterical whimper. “Ah! I’ll let you out soon, friend, I promise…!”
A peaceful silent response. Wilford liked it, for some reason. Maybe it was Yin’s way of letting him know they understood. Wilford smiled at the thought, sticking with it. He heard the same jingle from his phone again. It wasn’t a text this time…
“Uh… hullo?” Wilford asked, puckering out his lips.
“Hey, I’m at your front door right now, because I’m too curious and excited to wait for tomorrow,” Abe said.
Wilford chuckled quietly. “I’ll be down in a bit.”
Will could practically imagine a little finger gun when Abe replied, “Gotcha.”
Chapter 35: (gossip whispers ensues)
As soon as Wilford went down the stairs to the front door, he immediately noticed Dark, standing near the meeting room. It looked like he wasn’t really doing anything. Either way though, Wilford put his hand around his face to avoid him and rushed to the door. He opened it, and yanked on Abe’s arm. “Hey,Abe,nicetoseeyouagain,let’sgoinmyroomnow!”
Wilford only just missed a pair of onyx eyes trailing after them sadly. Dark sighed, leaning on the door frame of the meeting room. “I knew all of it was a bad idea.”
“So…” The Host suddenly slid right next to Dark. “How did everything go?”
Dark gave the Host a look, saying nothing.
“Darkiplier knows he will have to answer the Host eventually, and his constant murmurs in the third person are truthfully beginning to annoy the entity-”
“He hates me now,” Dark snapped. “Or was that your plan all along?”
“... The Host did not mean to create a problem between the palpable couple, no.”
“WE ARE NOT A COUPLE!” Dark screamed, clenching his fists. “WE NEVER WERE, AND WE NEVER WILL BE! LEAVE US ALONE!!!”
The Host gave him a long, steady look. “... Does Dark truly wish for another ego to be ignoring him right now? Bim, Yan and the Jims are already following Will’s example. Others are whispering. The Host did not mean for this rift to occur, and he shall do his best to fix it, but do not blame all of this on him. In the end, it was still always Dark’s choice to do… whatever it is that has happened.”
Dark’s face softened, looking around him. Everybody was staring at him, mumbling a bunch of nonsense under their breaths. “Should have chosen the basement to be loud like that…” - “Shut up!”
Dark sighed, feeling his cheeks getting hot. He leaned over to the Host’s ear. “If you end up making me lash out in front of everybody again, you’re going to get it.”
The Host shrugged. “The Host isn’t so sure what ‘it’ is, but alright.”
“Again, this is not all of the Host’s fault. Please, check yourself. Take a seat, drink some tea. Perhaps read a book? These things do take time, and clear heads.”
Dark rolled his eyes. “Sure. As if I’m going to do those. Standing, thinking, and doing nothing is what helps me.”
The Host shrugged again. “Alright then. Skulk away. It makes no difference to the Host.”
Dark frowned, and stormed downstairs to his room.
Chapter 36: Some Things DO Change, After All
“... Are you sure they’re in there?” Abe asked, poking on the glass of the mirror.
Will looked mildly offended. “Of course I’m sure!”
The mirror creaked in emphasis, or perhaps agreement. Abe didn’t believe Wilford at all, but just went along with it.
“So… Have you tried getting them out before?” Abe asked. Wilford had his jaw open.
“... No. I was waiting for you so we’d try.”
“... Right.” He tapped the mirror again. “Got any ideas, then, partner? Help us out a little?”
Nothing. A tiny portion of the glass cracked again.
“I’ll take that as a ‘maybe’!” Wilford exclaimed. Abe shook his head.
About an hour into trying to find ways to free the attorney, Abe has already sprawled out sticky notes all over Wilford’s bed. “Object possession??” - “How old now??” - “GHOST?! WHY?!”
And Wilford would add little snarky side notes next to Abe’s questions on his own notes. “Probably?” - “Does it matter what age they are?” - “Long story, but I am willing to bet they’re a ghost now.”
Two more hours passed. Abe sat on Wilford’s bed with his hands on his chin, while Wilford was hanging his head upside down while lying on his back on the bed. “Headrush…”
“Well that’s what happens when you lay down like that, dummy,” Abe smirked. “Sit up.”
“What if I don’t wanna?” Wilford asked, cocking an eyebrow. “I find this comfy.”
Abe grabbed Wilford by the collar, and yanked him up. Will made a sound somewhat like a raspberry. “Ooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww-UGH! Why??”
Abe shrugged, writing on a new sticky note; “Because I like messing with someone I used to hate, hehehe 😏 (he’s never gonna be able to remember that~)”
As soon as Wilford peeked over Abe’s shoulder to read his note, he frowned. He suddenly had the strange feeling back in his chest again.
“ Alright. I don’t trust him. Then again… I don’t trust anyone. ”
All the times Abe has called him a psycho, sick, and… murderer. But… then again, Wilford had treated him terribly, too. At least at first. Angry mutters and remarks, wrestling over a poker game, hating each other over a simple misunderstanding, one living in a completely different reality than the other… a lot of things that Wilford and Abe didn’t have in common with each other at all.
But… at sometime in 1978, something clicked. And that was dancing! GOD, they loved dancing! Now, they were as close as two friends could be. But that didn’t mean that note wasn’t going to bother Wilford a bit.
Wilford snatched the note from Abe’s hand, and stared at it for a while. Abe didn’t really know what to do except say, “Heeeeyyyy, uh, you’re- you’re not supposed to read that, gimme it-”
Wilford shoved Abe’s hand away, lifting the note up in the air, reading it over and over. “Did you really hate me, Abe? You know, before we did all the dancing together? ...I just wanna make sure.”
Abe was quiet for a long moment before shaking his head. “I didn’t know you then, I guess… All I had was a piece of paper and others’ words. I just assumed you were some kind of… supernatural wizard hunter asshole… and… you kinda are, but… you helped me, lots of times. And that, kinda… helped me to get to know you a little better.”
“Well, you got that stick out of my ass, for one,” Abe replied, somewhat dryly. “And you helped solve a case of a missing diamond, just by looking through the thief’s tiny apartment closet, which was too simple for even me to figure out… You’ve helped me solve countless murder cases that you didn’t commit, and…”
Abe’s eyes trailed down to his feet. It almost looked like he was about to retreat in his occasional noir monochrome world. Wilford leaned over and snapped his fingers in front of Abe’s nose, just in case. “No drifting off, silly. I need you right now, Abe~”
The detective’s eyes dimmed. “Right… Wait- why’s it just us here? Where’s Dark?”
Wilford rolled his eyes. “Villainy.”
That’s all he could say, for now.
Abe leaned back, trying to fix his posture. “Okayyyyy, anyway… I might have hated you before, Wilford, but… you’re a real fun sunnova bitch, you know that, right?”
Wilford rolled his eyes again. “No shit, Abe.”
“I'm serious, man!”
“I know. You’re fun, too.”
Abe patted Wilford’s arm. “We’ve been through a lot of shit, but I’m glad I’m your friend, buddy. Does all that answer your question?”
Wilford went quiet, and nodded. He shook around Abe’s shoulder, smiling. “Absolutely.”
“Absolutely.” Both Abe and Wilford flinched up their backs on the bed, looking at each other, the door, and then the mirror.
“What the hell was that?! ” Abe asked loudly, wide-eyed. “I didn’t just hear that in my head, did I??”
Wilford shook his head. “No! I have no idea what happened!”
“I have no idea what happened! ” Wilford’s last sentence was heard, as if somebody was playing a weird recording game of copycat. “Wilford- Abe- what the hell- happened! ”
It sounded like an echo of Wilford and Abe’s voices where morphed and manipulated to create some kind of sentence… The two knew that nobody was messing with them from the other side of the door, they weren’t talking to each other in their heads…
Wilford and Abe both looked over at the mirror. “Uhh…”
“Uhh…” the mirror repeated right after them. Both same voices, same inflection…
“... They’re trying to talk to us…!” Wilford’s eyes sparked. He stumbled off the bed to stand up. “They’re trying to talk to us by using our words!!”
Abe definitely went along with this. “What, like a parrot?”
“No, like a turtle’s mating call, of COURSE like a parrot!” Wilford exclaimed, getting excited.
Chapter 37: Mirror Friend!
“They’re trying to talk to us- like a parrot? ” The mirror agreed cheerily. It almost sounded giddy. Wilford ran right over to the mirror, excitedly grabbing onto the frames.
“Yes! Yes, my friend!” he exclaimed. “Say, I think with this, we’re almost one step closer to try to get you out! Any ideas??”
Abe shrugged as Wilford looked over his shoulder.
“One- ideas?? ” the mirror said. “Almost one step closer to- Say…”
“Say what?” Wilford asked. “Do we have to say more words??”
“Wilford, give ‘em time!” Abe stood up from the bed. “They might have unlimited vocabulary if they’ve been stuck in that manor for a while! The glass kinda explains it, too. Give them a break for a sec.”
“Unlimited vocabulary- stuck,” the mirror said. “I think- break- The glass- to get- me- out! ”
Wilford recoiled a hand back.
“But- what if that won’t work?” Abe asked, worried. “What if you get more stuck?”
“Won’t- get more stuck? ” the mirror replied. The attorney using Abe’s voice made them sound unsure, but both Wilford and Abe somehow knew they were determined. “Break- me?- out! ”
“Okay, okay!” Wilford exclaimed. “I guess we gotta find a hammer, huh?”
“I can go down and look for one,” Abe said. “I keep forgetting, but do you have some kind of warehouse around here?”
Wilford shook his head. “I don’t think so. Host’s old shed is outside though. There is a little map of this place at the first floor on the wall so you can go find it. You might find a baseball bat in there or something, Host doesn’t mind.”
Abe shot some finger guns, on his way out of the door. “Gotcha.”
Wilford gave him a thumb-up as soon as Abe left the room, but forgot to close the door.
“Wilford- Warfstache- huh? ” the attorney asked through Abe’s, Eric’s, and Wilford’s words.
Abe poked his head in Wilford’s room, and looked over at the mirror before shaking his head. “His marbles went a bit kaputz a few years ago. Made a completely new identity for himself. Will’s forgotten a lot of stuff.”
“Not a lot of stuff!!” Wilford defended himself. “I remember we caught that famous thrift shopper guy when we were bowling!!”
Abe crossed his arms. “What year?”
Wilford took a deep breath through his nose. “MmmmmmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnN- 1995?”
“... I kinda forgot what year it was too, so let’s just stick with that.” Abe shrugged, making Wilford smile. “Anyway, I’m off to go find the funny creepy blindfolded guy’s shed outside. If I’m not back in 20 minutes… call the police.”
Knowing this was a joke, referencing a certain incident that happened to Abe while being lost for over 20 minutes, Wilford giggled. “You know I’d come right down and save you! You can’t deny that I’m such a loyal partner in crime! It’s practically in my name!”
“Sure it is~” Abe grinned, shutting the door as he left.
“Wilford,” the attorney said through Abe’s voice. They slowed it down to say Wilford’s name longer and deeper, as if they were mimicking it. They used Wilford’s giggle to laugh. "Such a- funny- name! ”
Will grinned, a little sheepishly. “Well, if the hat fits, my friend~”
They giggled again, this time using Eric’s. Adorable.
After looking at the small-ish map of the Ego Neighborhood for about a minute, Abe was just about to go outside until he saw Dark, coming out from the kitchen with a black coffee. “Evening, Abe. What were you two doing up there?”
Abe took a deep breath, remembering what Wilford has said about Dark. In one of the two to three hours of trying to find out ways to get the district attorney out of the mirror, Wilford told Abe, “Make sure Dark doesn’t go all invasive about this. I don’t care if he finds out, I just care if he ends up hurting our friend.”
Abe only replied with, “Sure. I’ll remember that.”
“Just… catching up on certain stuff, Dark,” Abe said. “I’m just going out to find… an old magnifying glass that I might have dropped on my way here.”
Dark didn’t push it. “Tell Wilford to come out of his room when you go back up. It’s been a while for him to move around.”
Abe chuckled nervously. “Oh, yeah, as if his room isn’t big enough to cause a mini twister inside of, heheh…!”
Dark smiled sadly. Abe’s hand fidgeted on the door handle.
“Um… I know it’s not really my business, but… what’s going on with you and Wilford?” he asked. “He gets really twitchy whenever your name comes up.”
Dark twitched, almost dropping his mug. “We, uh… I’ve… Well… during the time Will and I have been friends, I may have… said a few things to him that, uh… weren’t entirely true. I certainly did hide a few truths from him. That’s all I want to say for now.”
Abe sighed, shaking his head. “Okay. I do want you to know I’m not picking sides here.”
“I know,” Dark replied. “You’re a ‘see-for-yourself’ person. No need to get into detail.”
“I wasn’t going to,” Abe shrugged. “… Anyway, uh… enjoy your coffee. You might spot me again when I come back in a few minutes.”
Dark tipped his mug in response. They parted ways awkwardly, with both of them sighing at the same time.
Chapter 38: Free As A Birb
“I’m sorry- you’re- like- this,- Wilford,” the attorney said, with a complete cluster of voices one after the other. Wilford waved a hand.
“Me too,” he replied quietly, rummaging through Abe’s notes. “And I’m sorry you’ve been stuck in that mirror for almost a sad century! I can’t imagine just sitting in the same place every single day! It must’ve been very lonely torture for you!”
“Well,- I- was- lonely,” the mirror said. “It- was- Not- torture. Just- very… sad.”
Wilford looked down on the floor, and looked right back to the mirror, examining the cracks. “Do you think it was my fault?”
“Your- fault? ” the mirror asked. “No! No- one- fault? ”
“But how is it not my fault??” Wilford asked, gesturing himself by slapping his hands on his chest. “I couldn’t tell Celine about how I’ve felt because Mark had already married her, and then she and I ran away, and Mark got all depressed and hurt and pissed, and then Mark stole Damien’s body, and I actually know why Dark wanted to go after him for so long because of that, and Dark never told me the truth about why until I went through what just felt like a novel, and- and…”
Wilford just realized that the more he ranted, he spoke faster and faster, and feeling a lump in his throat. He wiped his eyes harshly. “I’m sorry…”
The mirror hummed sympathetically. “It’s okay- I- know- it- hurt. It was- Dark- ideas.”
“Oh, I know it was Dark’s idea to kill my best friends,” Wilford replied, trying to get rid of the lump in his throat. “I just… don’t know if it was me or him that started all of this… Not like Dark and I had a choice to guess which either one of us did it.”
“I- don’t know,” the attorney said. “Just… don’t- say- it was- your- fault? Dark- had- No- choice- But- to kill- so- it was- Not- his- fault- either.”
Before Wilford could say anything, Abe suddenly whammed open the door, shouting in a silly voice with a hammer in his hand. “I’M GONNA WRECK IT!”
Both Wilford and the mirror screamed. “Invading privacy much?!”
“Invading privacy much?! ” the mirror repeated. Abe cackled.
“Since when did you go and see Wreck-It-Ralph?!” Wilford asked loudly. “You said the concept was lame.”
“It was a Disney movie!” Abe flopped his hammer hand on his leg, accidentally bumping it hard. Wilford snorted through his nose.
“That’s my line~”
“What- is- Disney? ” the mirror asked.
“We’ll tell you later, Abe’s got a hammer!” Wilford cheered. “You’ll be out of this before you know it!! WAIT!”
Wilford ran right over to the desk next to his door, and picked up a chair. “Just in case~”
“Uhh…” the attorney used Wilford and Abe’s unsure voices for the second time, letting Wilford know they are unsure. “Will’s- this- hurt? ”
Will and Abe looked at each other. “Uhh…”
“I dunno, Yin,” Wilford shrugged. “I’ve never had to break a friend free from a mirror before.”
Abe’s head tilted. “‘Yin’?”
“‘Yin’? ” the attorney repeated.
Wilford shrugged. “What? ‘Yin’ is their nickname I gave them!”
Abe raised a finger, looking over at the mirror. He shrugged. “A’ight.”
“A’ight,” the mirror repeated.
“You okay with that?” Wilford asked.
“Sure,” the attorney replied with Abe’s voice.
Both Wilford and Abe looked at each other for a few seconds.
“You sure this might work?” Abe asked. Wilford shrugged again.
“I dunno,” he replied, gripping on the chair by the legs. “Yin called it, so it was their idea. You ready in there?”
“Kinda,” Yin used Abe’s voice again. “Not- ready- if it- Will’s- hurt.”
“Don’t worry, Partner,” Abe said. “We’ll be… gentle?”
“Okay…” Yin invisibly prepped themselves.
The prospect of “gently” smashing a mirror was almost laughable. But Abe and Wilford tapped the glass as gently as possible, thinking they might actually somehow hurt the attorney inside, but hard enough to shatter a piece of glass or two. Growing anxious, Wilford held in his breath. “On the count of three, Abe?”
Without saying anything, the two held their objects over their shoulders like baseball bats. They both counted in unison.
Yin screamed, “WAIT! ”
Before Yin could try to say anything else, Wilford and Abe have already thrown their objects on the mirror, making the remaining piece of glass fall over onto the floor. Dropping the chair and the hammer, Abe and Wilford looked at the pieces, and then at each other.
“Wilford…?” Abe asked quietly. “Where are they?”
The glass pieces started glowing. “I- don’t- hurt,- Wilford…? ”
Wilford got down on his knees on the floor to try to pick up the glass without scratching himself. “Ohhhhh no, where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you, where ARE you?? I thought you’d Falcon Punch out of the mirror or something!!”
“What?? ” the glass asked loudly. The more pieces Wilford picked up, the more hysterical he became, getting emotional again.
“Where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you, where are you…?!”
Abe grabbed Wilford by his shoulders, pulling him up from the floor. The pieces in Wilford’s hands fell all over the place. “Wilford, Wilford, Wilford, stop, stop! Stop! Look!”
The glass pieces dragged themselves around on the floor, forming a human shape. They all flash, one by one, making Wilford and Abe practically shield their eyes. And then, as it should be, ragged breathing. Silence. The duo had their jaws hanging open, as they saw a familiar human-like figure, dressed in an old, blood-stained tux dress.
Wilford promptly burst into tears.
He ducked back down on the floor and yanked Yin VERY tightly in his arms, practically sobbing. “I’m so happy…”
Yin chuckled very lightly, hugging him back while trying not to get face-planted into Wilford’s, because of all the tears he had all over his cheeks.
“Abe, look…!” Wilford sniffled with a very wide grin as he and Yin both looked up to Abe, who was apparently holding back some tears. “We did it…!”
Wilford slowly helped Yin back on their feet, with their legs wobbling all over the place. As soon as they got themselves steady, Yin took one step closer to Abe, looking at him in the eyes. They stuck out a hand, only leading to Abe pulling them in for a hug. Thankfully, it wasn’t as tight as Wilford’s.
“I’m so sorry, Partner,” Abe mumbled into the attorney’s shoulder. “I left you to die…”
They shook their head, smiling and patting his back. Abe just guessed that meant the attorney forgave him.
“It did,” Wilford said, wiping his eyes. The three joined in a big group hug, with Wilford still crying the most.
Chapter 39: What're You Doin Under That Sheet?
Dark had his chin on his hands, taking in what the Host has narrated. “I knew this was going to happen.”
“The Host did too,” Host replied, calmly. “Except, he was never given any context.”
Bug sat still in front of Dark’s elbows on his desk, making it look like he was listening, when really, he just wanted a stroke on a wing.
“Do you have any idea what they’re going to try to do to hide them from me?” Dark asked.
“Well,” the Host fiddled with the cuffs of his sleeves. “If you go to Wilford’s room and ask what him and Abe are doing, they’ll immediately request of the district attorney to hide under Wilford’s bed.”
Dark rolled his eyes, sighing quietly. “Just as I thought. You can leave now. I just needed someone to share a few visions with me. I see so many possibilities, that I can’t even focus on what’s more probable anymore. So, thank you.”
The Host smiled. “The Host gives him somewhat of a respectful nod, walking off while wondering on what implications such a creature could change the Host’s immediate plans…”
“Nothing.” The Host chuckled as he left Dark’s room. Dark scowled.
“I can read your thoughts, Host,” he called out. “Stop having fantasies of me and Wilford at a time like this.”
“The Host makes no promises~!”
Dark sighed again, closing his eyes.
“Hehehe… The Host continues to snicker as he walks down the hall- oh. Hello there. Abe and Wilford are tugging on a huge white sheet, which appears to be over somebody’s head. Somebody that the Host isn’t familiar with.”
Abe and Wilford looked at each other, internally panicking.
I’ve got this, Wilford whispered in Abe’s head. Abe nodded, going along with it.
“Heeeeeeyyyyyyyy, Hostie boy~!” Wilford spread his arms wide, lifting the Host up from the floor, and signals Abe and Yin to race to the front door. “Thanks for the stuff you told me about Dark’s body and me pushing him into talking about it! I am SO THANKFUL to have a friend like you by my side to tell me all these smart things!!”
“It seems like Wilford is distracting the Host from something-” the Host winced, making Wilford sway him around in the air, like the strong pink boy that he is.
“YES, there was a bee!” Wilford exclaimed. “I know how much you hate bees, Host! We gotta have a bug control Ego to help us out with that!”
Abe hurriedly opened the door, and yanked the white sheet off of Yin’s head so they’d both exit the building with no problem. Wilford let the Host go, faking a humungous smile. “Anyway,AbeandIaregonnagohangoutwithanewfriend,okay?Seeya,wouldn’twannabeya!”
Wilford bolted right outside, slamming the door shut. The Host cleared his throat, adjusting his cloth around his face. “The Host wonders if Dark saw this as a possibility… The Host is also wondering whether or not Wilford was being sarcastic. Maybe.”
“Oh, and does that BOTHER YOU?” Dark called from his room. “There is such a thing called ‘MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS’.”
“... The Host regrets giving Dark his thanks for helping him with a future vision,” Host mumbled, and quietly snickering at the sound of Dark growling loudly from his room.
Chapter 40: Monologues Galore
Wilford, Abe, and Yin were all laughing hysterically while racing each other to the Host’s shed, hopefully able to hide Yin and Abe inside for a short while. As soon as Wilford locked the door, he flopped to the ground, already exhausted. “Hoo! That was an adrenaline rush, huh? Must have been good for Yin, since they’ve been in a frickin’ mirror throughout most of their life!”
Yin nodded, smiling wide.
“You’re lucky that Host doesn’t come in here as much anymore,” Wilford got up, and peeked through a tiny dusty window. “He says it makes him feel sad-stalgic.”
Abe tilted his head. “‘Sad-stalgic’?”
Wilford frowned. “Abe, we’ve been friends since 1978, you should know my language by now. It’s nostalgia, but sad! Sheesh.”
Yin’s eyebrows raised when Wilford mentioned the year. Was that how long it’s been for them? Or longer?
“For as long as Dark has been alive, friendo,” Wilford frowned. “97 years.”
Yin widened their eyes. Wilford nodded. “I know. And I’m older than him, so, I hope that makes you feel a little bit better, right?”
Silently, Yin just shrugged.
For the moment, the three knew they were alone, which gave Abe a chance to look around the shed. “... Is anyone else getting some really creepy vibes from this joint, or is it just me?”
Wilford waved a hand. “Nah, Host was just a really creepy fella back then.”
The detective frowned. “Then why does he still have nine different types of saws in here?”
“He was too lazy to clean it all up!” Wilford exclaimed. “He didn’t want to narrate himself to death! Trust me, Host is a friendly guy. He’s just a bit invasive~”
“A bit? ” Yin mumbled. Abe flinched, surprised. It was one of those rare occasions to hear Yin speak in their normal voice, and even then, they never talked much before they got trapped in the mirror. It is nice to hear them though.
Wilford shrugged. “Welllll… okay, he can look like a stalker, and being in his shed doesn’t prove my point, but he’s a very helpful and nice guy!”
Abe’s eyes squinted. “You’re not the best advocate, buddy.”
“Hey!” Wilford shouted, making Yin giggle a bit. “I know the difference between a serial killer and a friend! And Host is DEFINITELY an invasive weirdo friend! And Dark, HE’S the one who killed my friends and trapped Yin in that mirror! HE’S the serial killer-!”
Will stopped himself, looking over at Yin. They were frowning. Wilford remembered what they told him about Dark earlier; “Dark had no choice but to kill, so it wasn’t his fault either.”
Wilford looked away, shaking his head slightly. Just because Yin didn’t think it was Dark’s fault, didn’t mean Wilford had to forgive him.
“You don’t have to,” Yin muttered. “You just… have to learn… to not… hate him anymore.”
“And how could I possibly do that??” Wilford asked, looking down at the attorney. “He killed our friends. Our Damien… my Celine… Dark took everything we loved! He used us! He’s using our friends! ”
Wilford heard in Abe’s head, a conclusion; So THIS is why Wilford’s pissed!
“I can hear you,” Will frowned. Abe blinked.
“Sorry…” he mumbled. “Actually… you know what, Wilford? You remind me a lot of somebody right now.”
Wilford cocked an eyebrow. “Who?”
Abe pointed at his heart, the exact place where Will shot him. “Me.”
Wilford frowned again, his eyes squinting a little bit. “What do you mean?”
Abe shrugged. “You’re pissed at a killer you thought would be your friend for a while. Just like how I was with you. You get so pissed over the fact that somebody killed your friends, that you don’t even notice that you’re becoming obsessed with them, convincing yourself that they’re nothing but a murderer.”
“I’m not ‘obsessed ’ with Dark, Abe,” Wilford replied, crossing his arms.
“Right,” Abe said, raising a finger. “But you’re gonna be if you don’t learn that it doesn’t matter anymore. Just like what you told me. …Metaphorically.”
Wilford thought for a while. “Well… You didn’t know me, Abe. You had no time whatsoever to know what I was like before you started jumping to conclusions that all I am is a psycho. There’s a difference between knowing and not knowing the killer. I’ve known Dark for as long as I can remember, and I know his quirks like the back of my hand. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Seeing what Dark has done through an adventure of a flashback has made me come to the conclusion that I never should have trusted him. He’s a backstabber. And it doesn’t matter if he had no choice but to lie, he’s held the truth from me for a century. I deserved to know what he did once he first woke up, then and there.”
“Then you’d end up even more like me,” Abe replied after a long pause. “Obsessed. You’re mad at him because he, as your friend, decided it was safer not to tell you, whether or not it was because it would ruin your relationship, I don’t really know. And, yeah, Dark killed Damien and Celine to use them for his own benefit, trapped my partner in a mirror, and when he first got up, it drove you insane. I’d be pretty pissed myself if I found out the truth about all that if I were you. But just as Partner said, you don’t have to forgive him, but you need to learn how to not hate him, and think how much it doesn’t matter anymore. And, who knows? He probably had good intentions. Just like you.”
Wilford looked down at his feet, brows furrowed. He felt like he was at a therapy session, just by listening to Abe. Maybe it was some kind of Host stench that filled the shed to make the Egos sound smart and psychological for only a few moments. Wilford sighed, not so sure what to say. He has no idea how to defend himself now. Abe is right.
“And Dark needs to learn the same thing,” Yin said. Their voice was a bit louder than before. More confident. “His whole purpose of being alive is because of what Mark did. Mark stole Damien’s body, thinking he’s got his revenge over you and Celine, when he still doesn’t feel any better. Mark’s already suffered enough. It’s you, and Dark who need to learn how to move on now.”
Abe smirked, putting a hand on Wilford’s shoulder. “So, take a breath, grow a pair, and figure a way out of this mess, yeah?”
Wilford was silent, thinking. A part of him was telling him that Damien and Celine wouldn’t want him to avenge them by killing Dark or anything… They wouldn’t want him to grieve for them forever, either. Maybe besides getting Mark, the only thing that the twins wanted was for Will to be content. And besides hunting Mark down, it seemed like Dark wanted Will to be content as well. Wilford took a deep breath, and grabbed Abe’s hand that was on his shoulder, squeezing it. “I’ll try.”
Yin beamed, before pausing to look around the shed. “So… what now?”
Before Wilford and Abe could even say anything, the shed door suddenly opened. “The Host hopes he can be of some assistance?”
Chapter 41: Trust Me, I'm a Planner
Abe flinched, yanking a baseball bat from one of the Host’s shelves. “Don’t come any closer, guy! I have a bat!”
“Yes, and it’s the Host’s bat,” the Host said, losing his smile. He raised a hand. “Give it to him, calmly, and the Host will tell the three a simple but effective plan.”
Wilford, Yin, and Abe all glance at each other, while Abe cautiously hands the Host his bat.
“Thank you,” the Host said, holding his bat against his legs on the ground. “Now, here is the Host’s plan; We wait.”
The trio’s heads tilted at the same time, all confused.
“We wait for the right time to tell Dark that his revenge plot doesn’t matter,” the Host said, after sighing over how nobody understood his plan in just two words. “It may take a few days, and it might be possible that Dark will finally find the right Mark we’ve all been looking for in about a week or so. Right when he’s about to get him… Wilford will tell him it doesn’t matter.”
Wilford blinked. “Why me?? I promised myself that I’d never get near his face ever again!”
“If Wilford doesn’t tell Dark before he goes out for the kill, nothing will change,” the Host said, peering over to Wilford. “Dark has forgotten one thing about Mark; He’s still able to come back from the dead. So even when Dark will finally be able to catch and kill him, Mark will come back, and nothing will change. Wilford has to convince Dark that Mark no longer matters, so that Dark can be at peace. It will be a bit hard, considering Wilford still has to grieve and think over a few things, but the Host is sure it will work.”
A trace of a smile appeared on the Host's face, plunged in the shadows.
“The Host assures you, it will work. Perhaps in more ways than one. But then,” he continued, his head turning to Wilford, “that is only if you let it.”
The Host patted Wilford’s shoulder. “The Host will let the trio know when Dark has found Markiplier. Now, how about the trio try to introduce this lost district attorney to Dark, hmm?”
“Uuhh,” Wilford and Abe both strolled right in front of Yin, guarding them.
“Yeah, we’re not doing that,” Abe said. “For all we know, Dark might trap them in another mirror, but in a sex club.”
“Abe!” Both Yin and Wilford exclaimed, disgusted.
“It could happen,” Abe shrugged.
The Host pursed his lips, with his cheeks slightly red. “Anyway… The trio needs to find some way to introduce the attorney to Dark without any violence or mirror trapping, alright? Ciao.”
“Bye,” the attorney called after him. The Host waved, with his baseball bat on his shoulder.
Wilford slowly kicked the door closed, sighing. “Do we really have to do this? I don’t wanna…”
“You heard him, Wilford,” Abe threw an arm around Wilford’s shoulder with a smirk on his face. “Before Host lets us know when Dark’s gonna find Mark, we gotta prep ourselves up to it, so I guess we gotta show Partner off to him.”
“It’s Yin-” the attorney said-
“Gesundheit,” Abe replied.
The attorney shook their head before gesturing to the door. “No time like the present, guys?”
Abe smiled, glancing at Wilford. He sighed again, with a small smile this time. “Well, Yin can’t hide in this shed forever… A’rright. I’m convinced. Let’s do this.”
And then a mildly alarming blast came from the direction of the third floor of the building. “WHERE ARE THEY?! ”
Chapter 42: Cautious Reunion
Wilford took a deep breath through his nose. He slapped his back on the shed door. “NOPE! We are NOT doing this! Dark is gonna kill Yin if he sees them!”
“TELL ME WHERE THEY ARE, HOST, OR ELSE!!! ”
Wilford grabbed Abe and Yin’s hands, suddenly in the hallway of the third floor. The Host is almost pinned up against the wall with Dark’s hand on his chest. “The Host would recommend calming down considerably but his own voice is only becoming faster and faster in his own panic, creating a difficulty to discern and inevitably angering-”
“TELL ME, AND I WILL STOP.” A familiar colorful fireball formed in Dark’s hand. A tiny flashback played in Wilford’s head.
Yin took one step. “We’re right here, Damien!”
Abe and Wilford flinched. Dark turned, eyes wide in shock and anger. “You.”
“How dare you.” Yin took another step, making Dark feel off guard. “You left me in that mirror, all alone, and you didn’t do anything! You said you’d stake your life for me!”
Dark stepped away, letting go of the Host. “I’m not Damien… you should know this.”
Yin frowned. “I know. Just setting a reminder.”
Abe and Wilford were watching, wide-eyed. They had no idea what to do.
They clenched their fists, stepping in front of him. Compared to Dark, they were tiny, the ego having to lean back to look at Yin properly. The anger and hurt in their eyes made up for the formidable height difference. “Damien never would have betrayed me. He was my friend.”
“So what?” Dark asked. “I’m not Damien.”
Yin raised an eyebrow. “So what? You have his power of authority, so that’s one sign that you could be, right?”
The ego growled. “What do you want? Why are you here now, if not only to vex me?”
Yin fell quiet, and held out their hand. “I forgive you.”
Dark’s aura glitched. “... Why?”
Wilford quietly mouthed, “WHAT????? ”
“You probably had a good reason to do what you did, right?” Yin asked. “I know you have the worst aspects from Damien and Celine, but… I believe there’s good in you. I mean… have you thought about what you’ve done for Will?”
That had Dark flinch, almost like he’d been slapped. “... Well, yes…”
He sighed, shaking his head. “You confuse me.”
Yin snickered. “You confuse lots of people. Both in good ways, and bad.”
“... Nani? ” Dark simply pretended not to know what Yin was talking about, but using Wilford’s excuse word was probably not a good idea. Wilford’s eyes squinted at him.
Yin still had their hand out to Dark. “You know what I’m talking about. I forgive you, no matter what you say to prove that I might be wrong. Damien always had good intentions, so you must have some too.”
All of them seemed to hold their breath as Dark stared at the former attorney’s hand, before he finally cracked a tiny smile. “I’d be a fool to believe you. My number one thing is to never trust anybody, but… I’ll believe you, for now. But you have no idea what I am capable of. Don’t make me regret believing you forgive me.”
Yin smiled wide. Uncontrollably, they pulled Dark in for a hug. Much to Dark’s surprise, he didn’t hug back. “Okay…”
He let out a long sigh, patting the back of their shoulder. “Alright, let me go.”
He realized that Yin didn’t listen, only tightening their grip around Dark’s waist. Dark gently shoved them off by the shoulders, with Wilford and Abe flinching, thinking he was about to do something.
“Alright, alright, I get it,” Dark mumbled, running a hand through his hair. “I’m… going to go to my room now…”
Dark looked up, finally noticing Abe and Wilford, and the Host was practically making an imprint on the wall. Dark nodded at the four accordingly. “Host… Abe… er… you… and…”
Wilford was frowning at him distrustingly. “And Will…”
Will looked away with his arms crossed.
Awkwardly, Dark walked off.
Chapter 43: Ahh, Banter
“‘... So that went well,’ the Host mused, still smushed against the wall.” The Host struggled to pull himself out, but Yin and Wilford strolled right over to help.
“What did you say to him?” Wilford asked, yanking onto the Host’s trenchcoat to pull him out.
“The Host told Dark that Wilford, Abe, and the district attorney were out of the building,” the Host said. “Then Dark lashed out. He apparently did not want the attorney to leave.”
Abe rolled his eyes. “And then he might trap Partner in a mirror in a sex club.”
“Can you stop that??” Yin asked, face flushed. Abe shrugged, snickering.
As soon as they got the Host out of the wall, Wilford grabbed Yin’s arms roughly. “How could you forgive him?! You’re just gonna let him slide like that?!”
They tilted their head back to look at him, expression quite serious. “You’re already punishing him quite enough, I don’t need to add to that torture.”
Wilford let go of Yin’s arms, blushing. “... You’re too smart for your own good.”
Yin smiled. “I’m a district attorney. What’d you expect?”
Abe and Host both covered their mouths to try not to laugh, making Wilford blush even more. “I’m, uh… gonna go to my room.”
“It won’t take too long,” the Host called after him. “Don’t stay in there forever!”
“Gotcha,” Wilford drew a thumb up as he walked down the hallway. “Abe, Yin, it’s late. You both can come sleep in my room if you’d like.”
Abe and Yin both looked at each other, and followed Wilford to his room.
“Do you have another bed or something?” Yin asked him. Will rolled his eyes.
“Of course I do, I’m not a savage.”
Abe leaned into Yin’s ear. “Careful, he just might be~”
Yin giggled, with Wilford smiling slightly. “Okay, that was funny.”
“If not appropriate,” Yin grinned.
“You hush,” Wilford leaned over to flick Yin’s ear playfully. “We can’t all be articulate like Hostie boy.”
“I wish I was!” Abe replied, smiling. “Host can see into the future, right?”
After a few short seconds of thought, Wilford shrugged. “Kind of?? Dark sees multiple future possibilities, while the Host sees one that’s most probable, so… I guess?? ”
Abe nodded. “Good enough for me!! I think having that kind of power would help me solve some crimes… I gotta ask Host if he can help me some time.”
“Says the man who threatened the Host with his dusty ol’ baseball bat~” Wilford smiled, finger waving at Abe’s face.
“Shut up, he’s growing on me,” Abe grinned. “I want him to narrate my entire life to me when I go to sleep.”
Yin laughed. “You wish! I think that’d be kind of boring, knowing everything that’s about to happen before it happens? Like… wouldn’t that be a spoiler of your entire life?”
Abe glanced at the attorney, then Wilford, then the attorney again, making a long squeaky noise. “Eeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhh? Depends?”
Wilford shrugged. “I’ll take it. Anyway, we’re in my room now.”
Abe flinched, looking around to see that he, Yin, and Wilford are back in his bedroom now. “Huh. Didn’t even notice.”
Yin grinned. “Teleportation?”
“Oh, you know it~” Wilford snapped a finger at his closet. “I have an extra mattress in there. It… might be a bit too small for the both of you to fit in.”
“I can sleep on the floor,” Abe said. “It’s been a while since Partner was comfortable anyway.”
Abe looked over to help pull out the mattress from the closet, but it was already flat on the floor, Yin fast asleep on it, with a huge comforter on top of them. They were smiling. Indeed, one of their cheeks were smushed against the mattress, snoring quietly. It was nice to see them outright showing that they felt safe.
Chapter 44: Best Slumber Party Ever!
Wilford quietly chucked a blanket and a pillow at Abe, and flopped on his own mattress. “What a day. Abe, what do you make of all of this mess?”
Abe laid back with his had on his pillow, looking up at the ceiling. “In one word: Crazy. I can’t really find any words to make it all out, it’s just so weird.”
“Well, the world was meant to be crazy to begin with, right?” Wilford asked. “I’m used to it all at this point.”
Abe snorted again. “Of course you are. You’ve been crazy ever since you were four.”
“You didn’t know me when I was four, Abe,” Wilford replied.
“It’s a figure of speech, Will,” Abe closed his eyes. “Anyway, I’m tuckered. Night, bud.”
Abe pulled the blanket all over him. As uncomfortable as it is to sleep on the floor, Abe looks like he’s a natural. Huh. Will probably should have guessed that, seeing how long he’s known Abe for…
Apparently there were still some things that the two didn’t know about each other. But this day has been long enough, so Wilford didn’t want to wake up Abe about it. He eventually fell asleep, stuffing his face into his pillow.
About three hours later, Yin slowly woke up to the sound of some quiet chatter, along with shaky breathing. “Shh, Wilford, can you hear me? You’re okay, bud…”
Yin rubbed their eyes as they sat up. “Is everything alright-?”
“Hey, no, don’t do that. You’re fine. We’re all fine, shh…”
Yin saw Abe sitting next to Wilford on his bed, with his arm around his shoulder. It looked like Wilford was crying a bit. He was gripping his hair all over. “You weren’t fine in the dream… He killed you, he killed Yin, he killed me, and- and I…”
“That was a nightmare, Wilford,” Abe replied quietly. “And… it’s not even storming out… You never have nightmares when it’s not raining like crazy- Oh… hey, Partner… You can go back to sleep, Wilford just had a bad dream.”
Yin dragged their legs off the mattress. “Do you always do this when he…?”
Wilford muttered very quickly, “Oh thank god, Yin is okay…”
Abe held Will a bit closer. “Not always. He has nightmares whenever there’s a thunderstorm. He has some kind of astraphobia about it.”
“Oh… That’s awful,” Yin replied. “Is there… anything I can do to help?”
“Water, please…” Wilford mumbled. “Kitchen, first floor, first right…”
Yin stood up, heading to Wilford’s door. “Okay… I’ll be back.”
As Yin closed the door, they heard Wilford starting to cry softly, with Abe mumbling comforting words. “So sweet…”
Yin eventually got to the kitchen, after almost forgetting where Wilford told them where it was. But they didn’t expect Dark at the table. “... Hello, again.”
The attorney flinched, putting a hand over their heart. “Hi. You scared me.”
“If I may ask, what are you doing up?”
They shrugged, walking over to the cabinets and beginning to open them, hunting for drink glasses. “Will had a nightmare. I was going to get him some water.”
It was hard to miss the concern that jumped to Dark’s face, the way his eyebrows drew closer together. “I’m… sorry to hear that.”
The attorney paused before continuing their search for the glasses, deciding not to reply. “They’re in the third to the right cabinet- his glass is a soft pink.”
Yin quietly thanked him as they reached open the cabinet, immediately finding a soft pink glass in a front row of other glass cups. “That was quick.”
“He’s a show-off, both literally and figuratively,” Dark said.
The attorney held the glass underneath the sink faucet, filling it up with water. Yin looked over their shoulder, seeing the back of Dark’s head from behind them. “So… What are you doing up?”
Dark took a small breath. “Thinking. A lot has happened lately. I’m just taking it all in.”
“Yeah, I can tell,” Yin replied, turning the faucet off. “Do you know if Wilford wants a straw?”
“He’s the only one who needs them because of his mustache, of course he wants a straw,” Dark replied. “There’s a cup full of them next to the coffee maker.”
Yin thanked him again, heading right over to the straw cup, and plucked up a random purple one, plopping one in Wilford’s glass.
Are you up here yet…? Wilford’s voice filled Yin’s head, almost making them drop the glass.
No, I just… got your cup. Sorry to keep you waiting.
You’re lucky I can be patient…
“Anyway, uh… have a good night, Dark,” Yin headed out of the kitchen, waving at Dark. He waved back, saying nothing.
Chapter 45: You May Think He Doesn't Care...
“Yin’s coming back…” Wilford mumbled, finally loosening his grip in his hair. “Phew…”
“Feeling any better now, bud?” Abe asked. Wilford nodded, nuzzling his head into Abe’s chest. Irony.
“D’you think they grabbed me a straw?” Will asked him hopefully. Abe shrugged.
“Maybe. I don’t think they’ll know where they are yet, or even if you use them.”
“I’m right here, Abe,” Yin said, glass of water (and straw) in hand. “Here’s your water, Wilford. Dark told me you needed a straw.”
Wilford rolled his eyes as Yin handed him the glass. “Of course he did.”
Yin and Abe glanced at each other.
“You do know that Dark cares about you, right, Wilford?”
“So? I’m still really pissed at him, Yin.” Wilford took a long sip of his water through the straw, frowning. “Sure, he was a softie a few times before, but he’s a brute! The only thing he’s ever cared about was hunting Mark down, nothing else.”
Yin’s brows furrowed. “That’s not true at all. When I saw him at the kitchen table and told him that you had a nightmare, he said he felt very sorry. He wasn’t being a brute, he showed sympathy! Which was something I had no idea he could do!”
“Then he’s lying,” Wilford retaliated, pausing to drink again. “Just like he always is.”
“He lies, but it’s only because he wants you to be happy,” Yin replied, putting a hand on Will’s arm. “You know, like a ‘boost of confidence’ kind of thing, but… in an almost unhealthy bad way…”
Wilford gave Yin a tiny wink. “Took you a while to realize that, huh?”
“Well then, you should help him to be better,” Yin suggested. “Show him how you want to be treated.”
“He already knows how,” Wilford traced his finger around the rim of the glass. “The only thing he needs to know now is to leave me alone.”
Yin and Abe looked at each other again, both remembering what the Host said earlier.
“Well…” Abe started with a small ‘don’t take this the wrong way’ voice. “You… kinda have to talk to Dark before he gets Mark in a few days, so…”
Wilford groaned while sipping through his straw. “Why does it have to be a weeeeeeeeeek…”
Abe rubbed Wilford’s back. “Sorry, bud, the future’s inevitable.”
“And you can’t talk to him about it if you never want to see his face again,” Yin added. “You remember what Host said? Nothing’s gonna change if this doesn’t happen.”
“But I don’t wannaaaaa…” Wilford flicked his tongue around the straw as he complained.
“Wilford ‘Motherloving’ Warfstache,” Abe rolled his eyes, and started to rock Wilford around gently. “You’ve got to, mister.”
“Eeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhh… stop rocking meeeeeeeee…”
“No,” Abe replied, trying not to laugh. “I won’t stop until you say you’ll do it! It’s for your own goooooooood~!”
“You’re lucky this glass is already almost empty, or else I’mma still have to splash you.” Abe stopped rocking him.
“Oh, wouldn’t I~?”
Abe made fists up to his face, as if that would guard him. “Probably.”
Wilford stared at his glass, and quickly sucked up what was left inside from his straw. “Forget about it. Anyway… I’ll think about it. Can’t I just give him a card?”
“No,” the attorney piped up. “It’ll get through him better when you tell him yourself.”
Wilford sighed through his nose, tracing the top of his glass again. “I was never the best at convincing him, so I have no idea how Host could see how this could work.”
“Because now, he wants to listen to you,” Yin replied. “He wants you to talk things out with him, even if it’s just to tell him that he’s wrong, and you’re right, because reasons you will lay out.”
“How do you know that??” Wilford asked. “You can’t read Dark’s mind.”
Yin shrugged. “... You’re right, but I’ve been through these kinds of things way before I was even a district attorney, and usually, things end up better.”
“And, just so you know, Wilford,” Abe started. “It worked on me. If it worked on me of all persistent people, then it can work on your best friend and girlfriend in a trenchcoat.”
“... Not funny,” Wilford mumbled.
“Too soon?” Abe asked, with Will immediately nodding. “Welp. Later today, I’m gonna ask Host if I lose my voice in a month so I never say snarky asshole shit like that ever again.”
“Never again,” Will muttered, looking down in his glass. “As much as I don’t want to… I’ll try.”
The attorney smirked. “Good. I would've nagged you otherwise.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Wilford laid his head back on his bed, looking up at the ceiling. “I don’t wanna go back to sleep now.”
“Well, you’re lucky that we don’t need to sleep anyway,” Abe replied, patting Wilford’s stomach. “You wanna play some kind of board game?”
“Nah,” Will replied, hugging his glass. “Then you’d get pissed and wake everybody up. We can just sit and wait for days, I guess.”
“Wouldn’t that get boring after a while?” Yin asked. “I mean, we could always go out for a walk or something. You could introduce me to your other friends if you want.”
Wilford chuckled. “Well, as much as I want to do that, Yin, we can’t. Otherwise, that’ll make this novel of a fanfic go even longer than it should be.”
Yin and Abe looked at each other, and shrugged. “Okay then.”
“The writers are probably gonna have to do one of those ‘paragraphs of time’ things,” Wilford said. “You know, where they describe what we’ve been doing in just a few sentences or more until Dark finds Mark through their power of teamwork, and when this whole thing is finished, they’ll have no idea what to do anymore. They’re like the Host, except they actually create and control the story the way they want to. It’s fun.”
“But what do you mean about-”
“- Don't question it,” Abe interrupted. “Seriously. He’ll just give you a migraine about the ‘reality of fiction’ or whatever.”
Wilford shrugged. “Just spreadin’ some facts~”
(Author Abby is proud of herself. So is Author Max)
Uncontrollably, and quite out of nowhere, the trio eventually fell back asleep on Wilford’s bed. Literally. They just slumped next to each other. Thankfully, Wilford didn’t wake up over another nightmare, because if he did, he’d accidentally punch or kick Abe and Yin over and over again.
Chapter 46: Short Good Times
Abe was the first one to wake up, and saw a piece of paper being slid under the door. He sleepily picked it up, and it read, “Five days left until Dark finds Mark. Wilford may need to prepare himself. - Host”.
Abe turned the paper over, and it read, “Abe will not lose his voice so he wouldn’t say ‘snarky asshole’ things ever again. Woops~ - Host”.
“Aw, dammit,” Abe mumbled.
“Also, no pushing the attorney. They’re smart. If Will needs nagging, let them handle it. Abe says the wrong things sometimes. Just letting Abe know. - Host”
“Alright, now you’re just pandering.” Abe noticed a little bit of writing at the corner of the paper.
“The Host is not pandering!”
Abe frowned, not even deciding to push it. “What a way to start the morning.”
Yin and Wilford both eventually woke up, and the three went out of the neighborhood to show Yin around what they’ve missed after almost a century. It’s the new technology that confused them the most, but in a ‘lost but interested’ way. For some reason, they were fixated the most on a hair dryer. It was understandable over how curious they were. Wilford and Abe went with it.
The three explored a huge mall, almost ending up getting arrested by trying to shoplift a new outfit for Yin, and coincidentally, Wilford spotted a ‘for free’ yard sale just out by a beach. The trio took everything they could that Yin would like. Which… was basically everything. As soon as they spotted an outhouse, Yin immediately ran inside to change their clothes. Halfway through, they examined their wound on their stomach, from Will’s bullet. A small indented scar, about the size of Yin’s thumbnail. Yin giggled, thinking it could be a second belly button.
Abe and Wilford were both waiting on a bench, with Wilford quietly anticipating Yin to hurry up because he’s too excited, while Abe was just bouncing his legs patiently. As Yin stepped out of the outhouse, Wilford’s excitement dropped. “Aww, you’ve barely changed! You’re just wearing a modern version of the same thing!”
Well… he’s not wrong. Instead of their 1920s black tux and white dress mix, Yin is wearing a pastel colored overall skirt, with black long thin sleeves, light purple knee-high socks, and plain sneakers. They were dressed kind of like a little kid, to be honest. At least they seemed happy and comfortable. Besides Wilford’s disappointment, he and Abe did think Yin looked adorable either way.
Eventually, Wilford did introduce the attorney to the other egos, and to put it short, it was… weird. Meeting the Google Gang was a bit intimidating, Bim Trimmer was talking too much about his TV show, Ed Edgar almost mistook them for a child because of their size, while Dr. Iplier thought they were just malnourished. Silver Shepherd introduced himself just by making Yin trip over his foot, leading to him catching them. The King of the Squirrels and Santaplier were too weird for words, Randall and Bing were ‘too cool’ to introduce themselves, the Jims checked Yin out as if they were some kind of ghost… YanderePlier sweetly said hello, and then suddenly threatened them to stay away from her “senpai”, who she never mentioned whose name was… and Derek Derekson… ugh. Yin did not like the look of Derek Derekson. They somehow instinctively knew that Derek Derekson was a jerk. A two-faced, run of the mill, plain ol’ jerk. It’s almost ironic of how rude Derek is, considering he is a charity worker.
His son, though, was just abnormally sweet, and not in an obnoxious way. Eric was stuttery, sweaty, shy, anxious, but Wilford’s presence there made him feel slightly more confident somehow. In Yin’s eyes, Eric was just lovely.
As soon as the trio’s day was over, The Host slipped a small piece of paper in Abe’s collar; “Four days left, you three. Reminder: Wilford will have to talk to Dark on his own. - Host”
From all current things, this did not seem likely. Two days have already passed, Wilford would still avoid Dark like the plague. Dark would say one word, and Wilford would turn away and give him the silent treatment. Because of course he did. Abe closely followed Wilford as Yin kindly reminded Dark that Wilford just needed to be alone. About ten times in a row, and Dark is slowly hiding his temper. Very easily.
Chapter 47: Confidence School Sucks
Dark once spotted Abe and Yin in the same room, but no Wilford.
“Where is Will?” Dark asked. Abe and Yin traded looks.
“Uhh, he’s… in the bathroom?” Abe looked down at Yin, a bit nervous. Abe is an awful liar.
“He saw Eric crying, and they’re both in the conference room,” Yin said. “They’re just talking, so… don’t bother them.”
“Alright…” Dark fibbed. He then appeared near the conference room to try to spot Wilford and Eric inside.
“You shouldn’t be here, sensei,” another voice said. Dark turned around, and sure enough, Yandere was there.
Dark rolled his eyes. “What do you want?”
Yandere’s hands fiddled around the rim of her skirt. “Well, Wilford is still mad at you and wants to be alone, so, why are you spying on him?”
“It’s none of your business,” Dark replied, almost sneering.
“You better leave,” Yandere said, grinning up at him with mock-innocence. “Or else, I’ll tell Wilford you’re following him around, and then he’ll hide in his room again.”
She followed this with an obnoxious giggle. Dark rolled his eyes again, almost harshly grabbing Yandere by the collar.
“Listen to me, you obnoxious little tot,” Dark whispered. “None of this is any of your concern. This whole situation is between me and Wilford only. So you better back me up and leave us alone, or else I’m going to have to report to the police and tell what you’ve done to get rid of all of the other schoolgirls just to be with your little crush who doesn’t even acknowledge your existence. Got it?”
Yandere stood still as Dark let go of her collar. “... You had me at hello.”
She then left, with her head hanging down. Dark shook his head. “Teenagers.”
At least she’d leave him alone now. Some of the younger egos could be quite irritating.
Dark sighed, trying to take a peek in the conference room without being seen. Wilford had his arm around Eric, who was gripping tightly on the bottom of his shirt while crying.
“Y- You’re not gonna hate me too if I told you the truth, r- right…?” Eric asked.
“No, of course not,” Wilford replied, rubbing the boy’s back gently. Dark felt his aura twinge.
Eric sniffled. “W- Well… I was born with legs, but… wolves…”
Both Dark and Wilford blinked in surprise.
“How?” Will asked.
Eric sniffled again, taking in a deep breath. “Well… m- my dad assigned me to go to this Confidence School, so I can be more confident into selling more charity stuff… It was basically a low-budget military, and it didn’t really help me. I was assigned to go paragliding somewhere, all by myself, a- and I landed in a little place called ‘Death Gulch’... I broke my arm when I landed, too… My walkie-talkie was out of batteries, so I couldn’t call for help… Right when I was out of Death Gulch, a pack of wolves came in and…”
Wilford spotted tiny tears welling up in Eric’s eyes.
“I think you might have guess what happened,” Eric whined, wiping his eyes. “They got most of my left leg, but… they still got both.”
“I’m surprised you lived,” Wilford said. “Weren’t you worried about blood loss??”
“Of course I was…!” Eric exclaimed, with his voice cracking. “I lived, somehow, and I somehow made it to my dad’s warehouse… and he brought me to the hospital, and… once my legs were all bandaged up and got these prosthetics… I… punched my dad… pretty hard…”
“Oh, Eric…” Wilford shook his head, pulling the boy into a hug. Eric kept on sniffling and rubbing his eyes.
“I- I punched him like a ‘How could you do this’ kind of thing…” he explained, with his voice squeaking. “a- and I think that’s what got him to hate me even more… Now, he says that if I don’t act normal around you guys, he’ll force me back to low-budget military Confidence School…”
Eric’s eyes trailed over to where Dark was standing. Dark quickly put a finger against his lips, signalling Eric to not let Wilford see him. “Okay…”
He took in another gulp of air, scrubbing at his cheeks. “I’m sorry I freaked out.”
“Aw, it’s alright,” Wilford replied softly. “Why didn’t you tell me that this happened before?”
Eric shrugged. “I- I dunno… I guess I was afraid you wouldn’t like an extreme explanation, after what you and Dark had to go through…”
Wilford looked down at Eric’s prosthetic feet. He just realized that they didn’t match! Maybe the boy had to have different types of prosthetics as different sizes.
“Well…” Will started. “As long as you don’t say it long enough for me to really believe it’s true… I’m alright when people tell me the truth.”
Dark’s aura twinged again, making him quickly walk away.
Unnoticed, Wilford patted Eric’s back. “Are you alright now? I just wanted to make sure.”
Eric nodded with a small smile. “Yeah, I’m okay… My dad just yelled at me, and… I wanted a place to be by myself.”
Wilford looked down again. “You know what? If I spot your dad being an asshat to you, I’ll make sure your dad won’t mess with you ever again, okay? Hell, I’ll kick him out of this entire neighborhood if I have to!”
The boy let out a small giggle. “You don’t have to do that.”
“Oh, I will,” Wilford grinned. “Even if your dad is being a vicious two-faced jerk behind your back, I will make sure he never comes across you ever again, for I will be your personal bodyguard until he’s gone~”
Eric covered his face, smiling wide. “You don’t have to…!”
“ERIC!” A loud demanding voice called out. “Come here real quick!”
Wilford’s grip on Eric tightened protectively. Eric wiggled out of Wilford’s arms. “Mrgh, I’m sorry, Wilford, my dad needs me for a few minutes. We’ll talk later, right?”
Wilford sighed, shaking his head. “Of course. Make sure your dad doesn’t do anything to you. If he does, tell me, and I’ll strap him on a barrel and throw him into the ocean.”
Eric covered his mouth, trying not to laugh. Wilford watched Eric almost worriedly walk down the hallway as he was heading back over to Abe and Yin.
Chapter 48: A Good Stress Reliever
“Y- Yeah, Dad?” Eric asked. Derek had his back facing his son, with tiny red and blue lights glowing from his body. “Dad?”
“Remember that time you punched me, Eric?” ‘Derek’ asked. He turned, looking down at the boy. “That must’ve been one hell of a stress reliever, huh?”
Eric swallowed, feeling his head getting warm. “Uh… I… I guess…”
‘Derek’ smirked. “You can do it again if you wanna.”
Eric blinked, looking up at his ‘father’. “W- What?? But- you- y- you might ground me, or something…! You said so…!”
‘Derek’ put a hand on Eric’s shoulder. “Yeah, well, I take it back. You can let out all the stress you’ve got on me.”
“Are… Are you sure…?” Eric asked with a small voice.
“Of course I’m sure!” ‘Derek’ exclaimed. “Go on ahead, shove me, punch me, kick me, let it all out, little man!”
“I- I don’t- Dad...”
“C’mon, Eric,” ‘Derek’ grabbed Eric’s hand and formed it into a fist. “I’m tough, you can take me.”
Eric looked at his fist, then back at ‘Derek’. He took a deep breath, and tapped fist into his ‘father’s chest. ‘Derek’ cleared his throat, trying not to show any pain. “You’re a strong kid, aren't cha? You can do better than that.”
Eric took another deep breath, hitting him harder than last time.
“Do it!” Tiny blue and red lights sparked as Eric punched ‘Derek’s chest again.
Eric shut his eyes, and kept on punching his ‘dad’s chest and stomach over and over and over again, leading to him grabbing hold of the boy’s arms. His voice was changing. “Alright, alright, alright, alright, that’s enough… You must really hate your father, don’t you…?”
Eric’s eyes opened, seeing Dark right in front of him, with his arms in his hands. “Um… A little bit…”
Dark let go of Eric’s arms, and ruffled his hair. “You’ll be alright. We’ll make sure your father won’t do anything to you.”
Eric’s brows furrowed. “‘We’?”
“Eric?” Wilford called out, making Dark flinch. “You alright? Thought I heard Derek being a dick to you!”
Dark leaned into Eric’s ear. “Don’t tell him you saw me.”
Before Eric could try to say something back, Dark disappeared. “Whoa…”
“Eric??” Wilford called out again.
“I- I’m okay, Wilford!” Eric exclaimed. “Dad just wanted to let me know that he, uh… went to the store!”
“... Alright! C’mon then!”
“... C’mon where?” Eric asked.
Wilford’s head popped in from behind a wall. “We’re going for a walk, if you’d like to come with!”
Will then noticed Eric’s nervous and surprised posture, and he quickly grew concerned. “Are you okay? You look a bit frazzled there.”
Eric flinched, fixing his posture. “Oh, I- I’m good! I always… sweat… this much… Y- You guys can go on ahead, I might catch up when I’m more ready.”
Wilford hunched a shoulder. “Alright then! We’ll be back later!”
They both exchanged thumbs up.
Chapter 49: Twins?!
The trio were out yet again, casually taking a stroll, about two days until Dark finds Mark. Wilford knows he has to do it, but he doesn’t have it in his mind until either the next day or right when Dark senses that Mark is around.
Around the mall where they almost got arrested for shoplifting, Wilford, Abe, and Yin were picking up long thick sticks from the ground, and dragged three shopping carts from the parking lot around the very edge of the area. ...Racing?
While it seemed a poor idea, all three seemed relatively excited about it. Yin’s cart almost fell over just because of a pebble, Wilford’s stick snapped in half, and Abe won three times in a row. Either that was just pure luck, or Abe was somehow cheating.
In the middle of the fourth round, Yin noticed a huge white van, with colorful childlike marker scribbles all over the doors. A young looking woman with dark brown hair, a golden retriever, a person with a black hooded sweater and a camera strapped onto their forehead hopped out of the van from the side, and a man, who looks close enough to be 30, gets out from the driver’s seat. He looks an awful lot like an Ego, but… not quite?
While Wilford and Abe were racing each others’ carts around a beat up traffic cone, Yin rode their cart closer near the van to try to take a better look of the group.
“So, you’re gonna watch Chica while we’re in there for random shit, alright? Thanks, you’re a bud.” The hooded person and the man exchanged thumbs up, while he and the woman walked off into the mall.
The hooded person had their face almost covered up from their hood, so Yin couldn’t get a good look at them. And the man who looked like he could be an Ego looks a lot like Mark… Is he?? But he looks too happy and excited to be the Mark Dark was looking for! The way Yin has described Mark was defeated and lonely and depressed… Maybe there are other Egos out there who go by the same name, and this Mark is an… ‘original’?
The hooded person suddenly had quiet beeping coming from their face, which made them groan. “Agh, batteries are dead…”
Yin didn’t even notice, but they were right in front of a little bush, so they hopped out of the cart, and crouched down to hide underneath. They slightly poked their face out from inside of the bush, watching the hooded person yank off the camera strap, and pull off the hood from on top of their head. Yin’s eyes widened, mouthing, “Whoa…”
The person with the camera strapped looked exactly like the attorney.
The hooded-Yin fumbled in the car for a few minutes, pulling out a package of batteries. Their gaze drifted over to the bushes where Yin was hiding, which made them drop the package in surprise. The golden retriever (Chica, was it?) spotted Yin too, and almost barked, but Hooded Yin shushed her by gently pressing their hand against her chest. Hooded Yin sat down at the edge of the van, staring at Yin face. “Who are you…?”
“I’m… you?” Yin asked quietly. “I think…? We might be doppelgangers or something…”
The Hooded Yin stood up, and peeked over the van to see if Mark and the woman were about to come back. They cursed under their breath. “They’re coming back already…?”
They crouched back down in front of Yin. “You gotta get out of here, if Mark and Amy see you, they’re gonna have a heart attack! Mostly Mark!”
“Who’s Amy?” Yin asked, but the Hooded Yin shoved their face back inside of the bush. “Go! If we bump into each other later, we might have the chance to talk! But now, you gotta go!”
The golden retriever hopped out of the van, bumping right next to the Hooded Yin, wanting to sniff their doppelganger. “Chica, no! Go back in the van!”
“What’re you two doing in there??” a Mark-like voice called out, followed by a small laugh, probably from Amy. Hooded Yin shoved the attorney through the bush again, and sits up with the dog in their arms. “Nothing! Chica just spotted a squirrel! The camera died, so I couldn’t get any cute shots of it, heheheh!”
Mark chuckled, crouching down to pet the dog. “Aww, good girl.”
Yin quietly scattered up to their feet, and grabbed their cart by the handle, and rushedly ran back over to Wilford and Abe, making Mark flinch. “Who was that?”
Pretending not to know anything, Hooded Yin shrugged. “I dunno… somebody.”
As soon as they reached Wilford and Abe, Yin stopped their cart, almost out of breath. Wilford skidded right next to them. “There you are! You missed my first win! Where were you?”
Yin turned over their shoulder, looking back at the van. They watched the friendly looking group huddling in it. “Oh… Just saying hello to somebody…”
The sound of Abe falling out from his cart interrupted Yin, ‘causing them and Wilford to go over and help him up.
Chapter 50: Worst Funeral Ever
“Alright,” Abe said, face planted on the ground while raising a finger. “I think I’m a little funned out.”
The attorney tried not to laugh out of respect. “Alright, Abe, we gotcha. We’re gonna go back to Wilford’s room and do whatever until Wilford has to talk to Dark, whenever that time comes.”
Abe stuck out two fingers. “Two days. Wilford, you better not wuss out on us, you got thiiiiiiiis…”
Wilford rolled his eyes, holding Abe up by his arms. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll be okay, I hope.”
Will stuck out his tongue. “I’m just thinking about what I should say, that’s all.”
The three were already at the front floor of the building.
“Well, don’t take too long,” Yin said. “You have two days to think, so think hard and fast!”
“Now, it’s like you’re giving me peer pressure as a dessert, don’t do that.”
Yin shrugged. “Woops.”
Wilford waved a hand. “Ehhh, it’s okay… Just gotta wait and see what happens, I suppose…”
“Will?” Wilford stopped right in his tracks as he, Abe, and Yin were almost headed back upstairs to his room. Wilford could feel Dark slowly walking up to him.
“I need to show you something,” Dark said, serious. He held out his hand, with Bug in his palm. “I don’t think Bug is doing very well.”
For a moment, Will's anger at Dark was shoved aside as he stared down at the shivering cockroach. “Give him to me.”
Dark handed Bug to him. Wilford didn’t give Dark a look in the eyes at all. He gently nudged Bug with his finger. “Hey, Buggy… You sick?”
Bug’s antenna looped around Will’s finger weakly. Wilford’s mustache drooped. “... I think it’s about time you’d kick that tiny bucket of yours, huh…?”
Dark stared at Wilford, feeling his heart sink. It’s as if Will instinctively knew that the bug was ‘sick’, even when Bug was, surprisingly, a very healthy little thing, 30 years strong.
“I’ll be okay while you’re out, little guy,” Wilford whispered, feeling Bug’s antenna lose its grip around his finger, making Wilford gasp shakily. He cupped his other hand around the bug, looking at Dark for only a millisecond. “... I’ll just… put him in a little box, and watch him… Make him a little shrine…”
Dark said nothing, as Wilford hurriedly went upstairs to catch up with Abe and Yin.
Yin looked up as Wilford entered the room, standing up at the look on his face. “Will? What's wrong…?”
“Bug’s not… doing swell…” Wilford uncovered his hand to show off the cockroach to the attorney and the detective.
“Awww…” Abe frowned. “Is Bug getting old?”
Wilford nodded. “I- I think he may need a nap or something…”
Yin was quiet, not entirely sure as to why Wilford and Abe are sad over a bug. It’s just a cockroach! What, was it Wilford’s pet?
“Yes,” Wilford replied, looking at Yin with sad eyes. Yin pursed their lips, now regretting to think what they just thought in almost a judgemental way.
Wilford kept Bug in his hands as Abe looked through Wilford’s closet to find a big and small enough box to put Bug in for his “nap”. As soon as Abe found a box, Wilford cut open one of his pillows with a knife, and put in a blanket of thick stuffing in the bottom, so Bug could be comfortable. Yin found a small cookie crumb on the floor, and put it in the center of the box for Bug to try to eat.
Wilford was on his knees on the floor with the box, gently resting Bug inside. Abe and Yin stood behind him, bot not so sure what to do.
“You two can leave,” Wilford said, voice almost shaking. “I know this little guy is… just a dumb, ugly cockroach to you both, but…”
Will almost flinched at the feeling of Abe patting his shoulder. “We get it, bud. Let us know when you want us back in again.”
When the door shut behind them, Wilford picked up the box carefully and rested it on his knees, whispering softly to the cockroach. Bug occasionally twitched his antennae. “If you don’t come back, Buggy… and if some kind of cockroach afterlife exists, and if there is a yearly ghost cockroach race… I’m rooting for you to be the fastest one there is… and tell those little losers Warfy sent you…”
Bug’s antennae twitched, very weakly. He was resting on his stomach, on top of the cookie crumb Yin put in the box. He flopped right on his back, not moving. Wilford frowned, sighing heavily through his nose as he grabbed a box lid. “Bye, Bug.”
Wilford scrubbed at his cheek, sniffling quietly. He almost expected Bug to wake up. Almost.
Chapter 51: Slow Reconciliation
As soon as Wilford got out of his room (with Bug’s box sitting on his window sill), he expected Abe and Yin to be right across the hall, waiting for him, but it was Dark. Wilford looked at him for a split second, and put a hand over his face to hide him away.
“Abe and Yin went to a pet store to get you a new cockroach,” Dark said.
Dark’s lips pressed together thinly. “I did tell them that wasn’t the best idea. I don’t think they quite understand.”
Wilford looked down at the floor. “Nice of them, though.”
Dark nodded, saying nothing. He took a small breath after an awkward pause. “Say, Will… Would you like a walk? I don’t want to spark a conversation or anything, it’s just… been a while.”
Wilford sniffled again, looking at Dark for more than one second… finally. “... Okay.”
He was relieved to find that Dark was smiling at that, though not looking at Wilford. The two silently left the building, with a few Egos looking at the two in surprise, whispering at each other like a group of gossiping teenagers that never mind their own business. As soon as he opened the door, Dark glared over his shoulder, making everyone stop. A few of them tittered softly, while some of the less brave Egos actually ran off. Dark smirked at that, as he and Wilford were already out near an ice cream stand, with nobody running it.
Dark pulled out a dollar from his pocket, slapped it on the table, and immediately went for chocolate for himself, and strawberry for Will. Wilford didn’t say anything, but thought it was a nice offer. Dark didn’t expect a word of thanks from him anyway. The only thanks he got was a small chuckle Wilford made while struggling to avoid hitting his mustache with his ice cream. Not surprisingly, it ended up all in his mustache.
“I have a napkin if you’d like-” Dark offered, pulling out an out-of-nowhere napkin from his pocket.
“I got it, I got it,” Wilford gently waved a hand, trying to lick the ice cream off. Dark rolled his eyes, chewing into his cone. “... Thanks, though.”
Dark smiled, humming quietly. A tiny spark of purple flew around his red and blue auras, and then disappeared. Dark blinked at that, and then shrugged it off as he and Wilford continued finishing their ice creams and having a conversationless walk around town. It was really odd, especially for Dark, because in the past when the two were out for walks, Wilford was the most talkative, chittiest chattiest living thing in the whole world. Conversely, Wilford would feel a tug to talk to him, before remembering why he was not on speaking terms. Instead, Dark would listen to his head. Surprisingly, not a lot was going on in there. Just some quiet “I wonders” and “Look at thats!”. Honestly, it was kind of cute… and sad. Dark just wanted his friend back. And so did Will.
What caught Wilford by surprise was that he didn’t spot Abe or Yin on his way back to the building with Dark. The second the two got back, the Host told Will that they both dropped a box full of many cockroaches, and are still trying to collect all of them. Wilford just shrugged it off as he and Dark went back to their respective rooms as if their walk didn’t even happen. That didn’t mean that neither didn’t feel better after. Especially after their pet cockroach just died. Wilford strolled right into his room over to his window sill, gently tapping the top of Bug’s box like a little drum. Dark collected multiple crumbs of food from his floor, and put them in a garbage can labeled, “Bug’s things.”
There was a bit of emptiness in him now, Dark began to realize. While just a cockroach, Bug had been his cockroach, and for the longest time, his only companion.
And now, Bug is gone.
Dark remembered Wilford always telling him about getting a dog, but Dark was worried that a dog might eat Bug out of pure instinct. But besides that, Dark actually liked the idea of having a dog. Maybe he would get one now… but it may be a bit too quick to get one almost immediately. Oh well. Might as well wait for the right time.
Wilford stared up at the ceiling with Damien’s cane in his hands. His mind was very blank. He already missed Bug so much. He’s lost enough friends already. Who’s next, Abe?? No, because he can come back. And so can Yin… probably. Eric maybe couldn’t. Bim, too. He… wasn’t too sure about the Host. All Wilford knows is that Dark certainly can. Even when it felt like he wasn’t going to, Dark always came back, whether he was stabbed, shot, hell, he almost drowned when he stuffed a bunch of hot chili peppers in Mark’s mouth!
But he’ll still be here. Forever.
Whether Will wanted him to or not.
Wilford’s phone jingled, making him check it.
4:45 PM, Tuesday 2019
Sherlock Abe: We might take a bit longer than we thought to collect all these cockroaches we got for you… 10/30… If Yin and I aren’t around when Dark finds Mark, good luck, buddy. Make sure not to piss Dark off. 👍
Wilford smiled, sending a heart. He could practically hear Abe’s snort. Adorable.
He didn’t even process it, but Will soon fell asleep with his phone on top of his face. Also adorable.
His dream was bittersweet tonight, unlike his last one. He was dancing with Celine. Will couldn’t recall what music was playing (it was either classical or swing?), but he LOVED it. Celine looked so, so happy. The two were holding hands as they danced, and Will spotted that Celine didn’t have a ring on her finger. He was hit with this small sad envious feeling by looking at her hand, but smiled widely as he continued dancing with her anyway. She drew back briefly, squeezing his hand and pressing a kiss to his head. Face now red, Will picked Celine up bridal style and spun around in circles with her in his arms, both laughing hysterically, in love.
Will felt a tiny poke on his shoulder, turning around to see Damien, smiling wide. Nothing was heard, but Will apparently said something sarcastic and snarky, causing Damien to gasp and punch his arm playfully as Celine laughed.
As they all laughed in a big group hug, the music stopped. Wilford woke up with his cheeks stinging. He found that he’d been crying in his sleep. “ Huh… that wasn’t too bad…”
He swiped at his cheeks with a quiet chuckle, shaking his head. “Make up your mind, me.”
Never! Wilford thought to himself in a silly voice, making him laugh at himself. “Ahh, that was dumb.”
A quiet knock on his door was heard. “As much as he doesn’t want to interrupt Wilford being sleepy and adorable, the Host knocks on the door gently.”
Wilford slid off his bed on the floor, gripping Damien’s cane in his hand as he struggled up on his feet. “I’m coming, I’m coming.”
He made a quiet squeaky noise as he opened the door, looking right at the Host, where his eyes were supposed to be. The Host smiled slightly, gently pushing Wilford a bit away from him. “The Host just wanted to let Wilford know, he has a few hours until tomorrow for him to talk to Dark.”
Wilford pursed his lips, holding his breath, trying not to look surprised over how quickly the last few days have passed.
"Dark will find him in nine hours, which will only give Wilford a few hours after to talk him out of it."
Wilford started to stutter. “Um, um, um, um, um…”
What a way to start the morning.
“Wilford is overwhelmed,” the Host muttered, losing his smile. “The Host should have waited for a while longer to tell him.”
“N- No, no, it’s fine,” Wilford waved his hands.
The Host's fingers fiddled. "The Host was... wondering if Wilford wanted to practice with him first?"
Wilford opened his mouth, saying nothing, having no idea how to respond. The Host looked patient. “I guess?? Uh… I suppose it could be like rehearsing for my show… Can we do it in your room?”
The Host grinned, almost adorably. “Follow the Host!”
The madman smiled, walking off after him.
Chapter 52: Let's Roleplay!
Of all the times Wilford would go over to the Host’s shed to borrow some of his random junk, he never went inside of the Host’s real room. It was… really nice. Cozy, warm. Not all that uncomfortable. Small TVs were sitting on shelves that were nailed up on a corner, a pile of old books and novels that the Host has written in the past were sitting near the trash, and a whole collection of baseball bats were hung up on hooks on the wall. Not that the Host ever did baseball, he just… liked to defend himself. Will wanted to make a comment about the books, but decided against it.
The Host patted on a short stool chair next to a bigger one, wanting Wilford to sit down. Wilford hopped up and crossed his legs as soon as his bottom met the chair, feeling no pain. The Host was surprised as he muttered Wilford’s action under his breath. Wilford beamed, flattered.
“Now,” the Host started, intertwining his fingers as he sat down across Will. “Let’s begin.”
Wilford slapped a thumbs-up on his lap, having no idea what to say with a fake smile. “... What is Dark gonna do when he finds out where Mark is? Is he gonna go alone, or…?”
“One of the search engine robots will tell Dark that Mark is close,” the Host explained. “Getting excited, Dark will grab Wilford with no warning. It will rain like a monster tomorrow, but Dark will have no problem with it if he senses Mark. Mark will be the only thing on his mind, and nothing will stop him if Wilford doesn’t say anything.”
Wilford looked down. “Right.”
“He will think Wilford will want to go with him,” the Host warned. “He will be excited.”
Wilford felt like he was being warned about the dangers of a battlezone in the military… is this what it was like when he was still a colonel?
“Besides all the warnings, not even close,” the Host smirked. “Military training is much more serious than trying to stop your friend from obsessing over a game of cat and mouse.”
The Host dropped his smile. “But in both instances, more than one life can be saved.”
Wilford tapped his leg with his finger in thought. “I can see why. I mean… both can make some kind if change, good and bad, right?”
“That is correct, yes.” An awkward pause. “Anyway. Let’s say… Dark is getting excited, and grabs Wilford by the arm, and every time Wilford tries to say something, he gets interrupted by Dark a LOT. Dark will say a bunch of ‘Finally, we got him,’ and ‘This is our chance,’ and such.”
The Host’s head went down a bit. “Then… Dark will ask Wilford if he’s happy.”
Wilford’s brows drew closer together, both in confusion and… worry?
“What would Wilford say to such a question?” the Host asked. Wilford thought for a long minute or so. Is Dark really gonna ask Wilford that? The Host nodded.
“I… don’t know,” Wilford said quietly. “Happy about what, exactly?”
The Host shrugged. “About a lot of things, really. The Host can’t get into too much detail about what will happen. He’ll spoil the ending of this fic if he keeps going.”
Wilford chuckled. “Seems fair. But… what will Dark be?”
The Host shook his head a little. “He will think he’s happy- that he will get what he needs. But he is still in pain, and Mark would never be able to fix that, alive or dead. As Dark has once shared with Wilford one of his visions of Mark acting out a date with a doppelganger if the attorney, after a video shoot, he looks miserable and feels out of place. A loser, one would say.”
“I remember that,” Wilford mumbled. “Is that what Mark has actually been this entire time? Is he what Dark is gonna be like if he kills him?”
“Yes,” the Host replied, stone-faced. “As the Host has said before, nothing will change if Wilford doesn’t say anything. Now, repeat the word ‘no’ after everything the Host says, as Dark. ‘Wilford, are you ready to finally get Mark after all these years?’”
Wilford held in his breath, almost forgetting to say the word he was supposed to repeat. “... No?”
“‘That doesn’t matter,’” the Host replied, trying to mimic Dark’s voice as best as he could. It’s almost kind of hilarious, but at least there was an attempt. “‘Are you ready to torture the hell out of Mark and give him what he deserves?’”
As silly as the Host’s impression of Dark is, Wilford could practically hear Dark actually asking that to him. “No.”
The Host leaned over, putting his hand on Wilford’s knee. “‘Wilford… aren’t you happy?’”
Wilford swallowed, trying to repeat his word. He could imagine just how giddy and excited Dark could be after hearing that Mark is near… which is very out of character for Dark, really. He usually hides his emotions very well, staying very stone-faced and sardonic.
“I don’t know…” Wilford said, breaking focus from the imagination. The Host leaned back in his chair, frowning, but patient.
“Wilford will panic, lots of times,” he said. “But he will be honest and win Dark over. He just has to be confident in what he wants to happen.”
“But I don’t want this to happen- at all…” It came out as a whine, and the Host pat Wilford’s knee sympathetically.
“Trust the Host when he says,” he started. “Deep down, Wilford wants this to happen. He wants to make change over Dark’s obsession. He just hasn’t figured it out yet. He’ll see. This will work. Trust the Host.”
“This will work… I promise.”
After that little out-of-nowhere Damien memory, Wilford pursed his lips, and looked down at the floor. “Okay.”
A small knock on the Host’s door was heard. “Host? Is Wilford in there?”
“It’s Dark,” the Host said.
“You don’t think I don’t know that??” Wilford whispered, a bit panicked. “Does he know what we’ve been doing? Has he found Mark yet-?”
“No, thankfully,” the Host replied. “Stay calm. Dark just wants to see Wilford for just a while. It’s nothing serious.”
“I just want to see Wilford for a while, it’s nothing serious,” Dark repeated, apparently not able to hear through the Host’s walls. They must be really thick just for normal talking, but apparently not for Dark’s voice. Echoes, obviously.
“Dark can come in and pick Wilford up,” the Host called out. “He and the Host were just talking, is all.”
The door opened slowly, and Wilford immediately noticed something different about Dark. Dark was in her female form again.
“Um… hello,” she said stiffly, onyx eyes flitting from Will to her fingers several times. “I just… wanted to see how you’re doing.”
Wilford held in his breath, having vivid memories of Celine running through his head. “I’m fine, thanks… Just… chattin’.”
Dark’s eyes looked over at the Host, seeing him wave with a small smile. “The Host compliments Dark’s form in a friendly manner. Dark is flattered, but she hides it skillfully by telling the Host to-”
“Put a sock in it,” Dark said quickly.
“... The Host was expecting something less explicit,” the Host finished, practically mumbling. That had Dark let out a soft chuckle.
“Anyway…” Dark scratched the back of her head, looking back at Wilford. “Will you come with me to my room, Wilford? There’s a small thing I want to talk to you about.”
“What is it?” Wilford’s head tilted.
“It’s about Eric,” Dark replied. “From the other day. Nothing happened to him, in case you were wondering the worst. Just… a little thing about him and his father… and his legs.”
Wilford squinted before nodding, skeptically. “‘Kaaaaaayyyy…”
Dark forced a smile. “Host, if you don’t mind…”
The Host put up a hand. “He doesn’t.”
Dark gently took Wilford by the arm, and led him out of the Host’s room. “Alriiiiiight… Wilford, follow meeee…”
Wilford saw the Host attempting to wink at him before closing the door. Dark took a small breath. “Let’s go. ”
They stood awkwardly in the hallway for a few moments, Will rubbing his arm. “You- you look nice.”
“I…” She blinked. “Thank you.”
Wilford hummed a small "You're welcome."
Chapter 53: (dramatic gasping multiple times)
As soon as they both reached Dark’s door, Wilford hesitantly ran over and opened it to let her in first. Dark said nothing of it, but still felt a bit flattered anyway. He plopped down in one of Dark’s chairs, staring at her window sill. Bug used to sit there all the time, like the cutie he was!
Wilford smiled at the thought as Dark sat down next to him, folding her hands on her lap. “So… about Eric…”
Upon hearing his name, Wilford drew all of his attention back to Dark. She pursed her lips, a bit nervous over how Wilford might react. “The other day, I heard everything Eric said about him losing his legs, and him punching Derek for it. So… I shifted into Derek to pretend as him, letting Eric punch me over and over again.”
“ ... Not that bad…” Wilford said, honestly expecting worse. “What’d you do that for, though?”
“... I wasn’t too keen on seeing him crying in a corner somewhere,” she admitted sheepishly. “I wanted to help. He needed some kind of stress relief instead of holding it all in and crying about it.”
Wilford whispered a “Huh,” under his breath. “... Did it hurt?”
“Actually…” Dark rested her chin on a hand. “Yes. For someone who is almost the same size as the district attorney, he is very strong. He just doesn’t like using it on people… except his father, apparently.”
She let out a long sigh through her nose. “He’s a sweet child. He’s probably the most innocent thing we’ve got here now.”
Besides Dark’s soft ringing being heard, there was a quiet pause between the two. Dark pursed her lips, slowly clenching into her hands. “Eric lied about his legs, didn’t he?”
Wilford frowned, shrugging. “Dunno what you mean.”
“Eric lied about being born without legs,” Dark explained, slowly losing the calm in her voice. “He told you what really happened, and you were completely okay with it.”
“Yeah,” Wilford said, almost in an annoyingly nonchalant way. “So what? He told me the truth, he was afraid I’d hate him for it, but I don’t. What’s the problem??”
“You just…” Dark gritted her teeth, and gulped. “You just forgave him so quickly…”
She dug her fingernails into her pants. “So why…”
“Why did you forgive him so quickly and not ME?!”
Wilford was silent, almost wincing over Dark’s sudden ringing growing louder as she shouted. As soon as the ringing died down, Wilford scowled.
“What do you think?” he asked her coldly. Dark’s face softened. Her mind went blank.
“You fucking know why, Dark. Don’t lie to me. You can’t expect me to believe you now, after you hid everything from me.”
“Will, I didn’t want to,” Dark grew defensive. “I had to, I- I had no other choice but to keep everything from you.”
“Sure you did.”
Dark’s lip trembled a little, standing up. “Do you think I LIKED hiding this from you?!”
“Of course not!” Wilford exclaimed. “But did you have to keep it from me your entire life?!”
“Yes! Because if I did tell you right off the bat, you’d be like me!”
“YOU DON’T KNOW THAT!”
“Of COURSE I DO!!!” Dark screamed, aura flying. “I CAN SEE INTO MULTIPLE POSSIBILITIES OF THE FUTURE! I MEANT TO PROTECT YOU!!”
“Well, you did a LOUSY JOB!” Wilford stood up, looking like he was about to attack Dark, but only doing nothing.
She didn’t move, didn’t speak. Her eyes had widened slightly, and began welling with tears. Wilford almost thought that he broke her.
Dark dried her tears with a simple blink, and sighed. “Well. It’d be a burden off my shoulders if you couldn’t come back from the dead. You’re lucky you can.”
Silently, as Dark’s ringing died down again, Wilford huffed and was about to head out of the room.
Wilford froze, looking back at Dark. Her back was facing him.
“Don’t leave,” she said. “We can’t avoid each other like the plague after every single fight. You’re staying in here.”
Wilford took a breath, wanting to insist on leaving, but sighed. “Fine.”
The two were silent, with Dark looking out the window and Wilford lying on Dark’s bed while looking up at the ceiling. They didn’t even notice it, but it’s already almost been nine hours of doing absolutely nothing but staring at something. Dark expected Wilford to be asleep at this point. Nope.
An urgent knock on Dark’s door made the two jump in surprise, but Dark cleared her throat to make her voice a little deeper. “Come in.”
The door opened, with the Google Gang almost piling on top of each other. They all quickly stood up in a neat single-filed line. They all looked a bit surprised over Dark’s form, but quickly brushed it off as Dark asked, normal tone, “What is it?”
“We found Markiplier at the local theatre!” the androids all said in unison. Wilford and Dark’s eyes widened. There was a sudden urgent feel in Dark’s aura.
“Really??” she asked. “Do you know how long he’ll stay there??”
“Unsure,” the Gang replied. “He might stay there for about a day or so.”
“He seems a tad… tired,” Google Blue told his leader. “Easy to catch.”
Dark nodded quietly to herself. “Yes… Yes, I see. Thank you.”
Wilford stood up, mind racing. What the hell am I gonna do????
“Wilford!” Dark suddenly grabbed Wilford by the arm, grinning mischievously. “Come with me! Do you have your gun with you??”
“You’ll have it in your pocket somehow, let’s go!” With a quick swift of her hand, Dark’s door, and the front door of the building opened at once. With a tight grip on Wilford’s arm, he and Dark practically flew out of the building, due to Dark’s excitement. It was raining like crazy, but Dark had no care in the world. She’s finally got Mark right where she wanted him.
Chapter 54: Important Truths
Wilford tugged on her shoulder, shaking her slightly to get her to stop. “Wait- Dark, wait!”
Dark turned around, gripping onto both Wilford’s arms, smiling wide. “Wilford, isn’t this wonderful? We finally got him! I thought we’d never find him after I mistakened another Markiplier as him, but- we’ve- we’ve actually got him!! If we hurry ourselves out of this rain, we might reach the theatre in no time. We’re already halfway there, let’s go!”
Before Wilford could even say anything, Dark continued yanking his arm as she sped all the way over to a small town where the local theatre was located. As soon as the two reached the roof, Dark slowed down, a bit out of breath. Wilford was almost choking on rain water while desperately trying to stall Dark.
“Wilford…!” Dark breathed out, looking over her shoulder, grinning. She wiped her hair up while trying not to get any rain in her eyes. “We’re here…! Finally… I can use this form to fool him into thinking I'm Celine… Are you ready to finally get Mark after all these years, Wilford?”
Wilford gulped, remembering his little ‘role play’ with the Host from hours earlier. “No…”
Dark strolled over to the edge of the roof, right above the front door. “That doesn’t matter. We’ve got him.”
“... Dark, I-”
Dark looked over her shoulder again. “Are you at least ready to torture the hell out of him and give him what he deserves?”
Wilford was surprised he could hear her over all of the rain. “No.”
Dark turned to him, brows furrowing in concern. She slowly walked over to him, not bothered at all by the rain. Her wet white button up was a bit distracting, but that didn’t stop Wilford from looking at her in the eyes.
“Wilford…” she said quietly. Wilford swallowed nervously.
“This should be the most defiant, most victorious moment for you… for both of us,” Dark continued. “Aren’t you happy?”
Wilford took a deep breath, looking deeply into Dark’s big, concerned, but happy eyes. He hung his head down. “No.”
Her expression softened, and she let go of his arm to cup his cheek. “Will… what’s wrong?”
Wilford couldn’t think of anything to say. He thought of everything the Host, Abe, and Yin told him thousands of times… His hand slowly clung onto Dark’s, lowering it.
“Nothing’s gonna fix this,” he said directly, after taking a deep breath, smelling rain. Dark’s eyes squinted, confused.
“What are you talking about?” she asked. “Of course everything will be fixed! It’s our time to finally give Mark what he deserves after what he’s done to us!”
“I- I know, but…” Wilford looked down for a second. “What good will any of it do afterwards?”
Dark raised an eyebrow.
“Are we just gonna act like nothing ever happened? Is Mark gonna come back from the dead? Am I gonna have another existential crisis about my sanity? Are you gonna be happy??”
“... Of course I am,” Dark replied. “Vengeance is all it’ll take for me to get what I want.”
“Is it, though?” Wilford’s head tilted.
“I…” She looked down, scuffling her dress shoes into the ground. “I don’t know, Will.”
“Then why take the chance?” he asked her.
“You’re asking me to throw this away,” Dark whispered, her voice coming out as a sob. “The one thing I have left.”
Will squeezed her hand. “I am. Say, you’re able to read people’s minds, right? Use that on Mark, and tell me how he’s feeling right now about his revenge plan.”
Dark stared at him, blinking the rain away from her eyes… or were they tears? Wilford and Dark couldn’t even tell anymore. Dark closed her eyes, trying to sense Mark around in the theatre.
“... He’s in there… He’s in a suit… His hair’s a mess… He’s laughing at some kind of half-assed joke… He’s alone now, face in his hands. ‘This shit is exhausting…’ He’s… sad. Tired. Angry. Lonely… He knows he’s won, but… he feels as if he never won at all…”
Dark opened her eyes, looking back at Wilford.
“He’s just like how he was back in the house…” she whispered. “But… he’s got his revenge, he stole Damien’s body and went out scott-free, he should be living with more happiness and fame than ever…! Why isn’t he like how I always thought??”
Wilford shrugged. “Some things never change, I suppose.”
“But he… he hurt us, Will… and you’re just going to let him walk away?”
“Chances are, I might. But - hear me out - if I leave you here right now, and you go down and kill Mark on the spot, you’ll be just like him.”
Dark blinked. “Dead?”
Wilford shook his head. “No, no, no. If you go kill Mark, eventually, you’re gonna feel exactly like how he does right now. You can see into multiple futures, Dark, you must have known this.”
Dark was quiet, thinking. Her aura glowed around her eyes while closing them for a split second. She flashes them open, gasping. Her aura was almost making her form warp and change, but still remained the same. “I… I didn’t- I- I didn’t know, I…”
She groaned, covering her face with her hands. Wilford reached out a hand, but only to recoil it back as the blue aura almost snapped at it. Dark’s aura almost made her look like she was splitting in two.
And, to Wilford’s shock, she did.
Chapter 55: Unfused
“... Damien? … Celine?”
The twins were lying on the roof, both wide-eyed, as if they were both having existential crises. … Seems appropriate.
“We didn’t know, nothing will happen, everything feels wrong, why…? ”
“But he took my body, he’s a monster, he deserves everything wrong, why…? ”
Wilford- like how he was LOTS of times before- was VERY speechless.
“He’s in pain.”
“He was our friend, we- we hurt him.”
“I think it does.”
Wilford’s voice broke the twins’ conversation, both flinching and looking up at him. “Will? ”
He smiled weakly. “It’s- good to see you.”
Will knelt down on his knees, trying to see if he could touch them. He tried having his hand up on Damien’s shoulder, but it went straight through. Much to Wilford’s disappointment, he frowned. “Ohh…”
Damien frowned back, only looking a bit frustrated. “I’m sorry.”
Celine crawled over to Wilford, a bit further away from Damien, and tried to hold his hand. “Been a while, huh, Will? ”
Trying to fight back tears, Wilford sniffled. “Yep. I thought of you two a lot…”
Damien suddenly grabbed Celine by the elbow. “I’m sorry, Will, we…”
He looked over at Celine, then Wilford, back to Celine, back to Wilford again, and sighed. “We have to think.”
“What?? But you two just came back, I wanna see you-!”
“We- we might come back, Wilford,” Celine replied quickly as she was forced to stand up with Damien. “We promise-”
Damien snapped a finger, and the twins were gone.
Wilford remained on his knees, looking up at the sky, getting rain in his face. He didn’t care. He smiled. “... I think I got to them…”
He felt cold. He didn’t care.
Once he spotted a Damien-looking man leave the theatre with a half-empty wine bottle, Wilford got up to his feet, and ran off back to the Ego building.
Chapter 56: Just Had To Think For Once
The twins were pacing in Dark’s room, both thinking very intensely without interrupting each other’s thoughts.
“He doesn’t want us to do this,” Celine said out loud. Damien rolled his eyes.
“You don’t think I don’t know that?? ” he asked. “Who does he think he is, in a moment like this?! ”
“Damien, quiet down,” Celine put a hand up against her brother’s chest. “The others will hear you.”
Damien scowled. “So what? Everybody else here has the same voice anyway. Not like they can tell a difference.”
He gave his sister a look. “Don’t call me that-”
“I’m going to keep calling you whatever I want if you don’t listen to me,” Celine ordered, pointing a finger against Damien’s chin. With a tiny shove of her finger, Celine sat Damien down on the bed. He sighed through his nose.
“Fine,” he muttered. “You’re the boss.”
She exhaled slowly for a few moments before resting her head on his shoulder. “I hate this.”
“... Me, too. Wilford probably does too.”
Damien eyed over at her. “You think that’s why he didn’t want us to do this? ”
“A little bit…” Celine mumbled, looking up at the ceiling. “But I think there’s more to it. He said if we get Mark, we’ll be like him, so… that has to mean something, right? ”
Damien shrugged with his free shoulder. “Maybe.”
“And either way-” she looked at the bin in the corner labeled ‘Bug’s things’. “If we let Dark do this, he really may never forgive us.”
“You think? ” Damien cocked an eyebrow.
The former mayor hummed softly, reaching out to pat his sister’s knee. “... What do you suggest we do? ”
Celine leaned her head off Damien’s shoulder, looking up at the ceiling again with a sigh. “I don’t know. I’m too tired to think.”
“Let’s just pretend we understood what Wilford told us, like we always did, and then we’ll just go from there,” Damien was about to stand up, but Celine grabbed him by the shoulder to sit him back down again.
“No! ” she exclaimed. “Wilford wanted us to stop for a reason! Haven’t you seen the possibility of us becoming like Mark?? We’ll never be happy, even when we DO get him! ”
Damien stared at her for a few moments. He tried to remember how distraught Dark could have felt if he went out and just killed Mark like it was nothing. And feeling nothing. He remembered seeing Wilford in Dark’s vision, walking up to him and ask him, “Are you happy now?”
“Ugh,” Damien leaned over and rubbed his face with his hands, groaning. “Why does he have to make this so difficult? ”
“Because he’s Wilford Warfstache, brother,” Celine replied, patting Damien’s leg. “William J. Barnum’s alter ego. He’s always had his reasons for everything.”
Both of them smiled, if only for a minute or two.
“ ... So what now? ”
Celine sighed by flapping her lips around. “Well… have you come to terms over what Wilford said? ”
“Then we both sit here and wait until you do.”
The former mayor crossed his arms, shrugging before plopping down in the bed. Along with Celine, Damien was staring up at the ceiling in thought. He closed his eyes, repeating the same phrase over and over and over.
Just like Mark… Just like Mark… Just like Mark…
“Can you c’mere for a minute? ”
“Alright… What is it? ”
“It’s… been a whole month since we got Mark, hasn’t it? ”
“And… you’re okay? ”
“You don’t look it. Dark? ”
“Are you happy? ”
“Dark? Celine? Damien? ”
“Damien? Damien, wake up! ”
With a small gasp, Damien flinched up from the bed, eyes wide open, with his blue aura acting staticky. He took a few deep breaths.
“Oh, you’re okay,” Celine sighed, relieved. Damien slicked back his hair, gulping a breath of air. His aura sparked a tiny purple.
Celine’s aura sparked purple as well, as she smiled at her brother. As soon as the twins looked at each other, both of their auras drew closer together, and made a deep dark purple.
For just this once, there was no reason to disagree. Finally.
Chapter 57: From Dark to Light
Wilford, almost a bit too anxiously, was sitting in his bean-bag chair with his leg bouncing like mad. “They must be thinking for a loooooooong time… I bet if Dark was still stuck in one, he’d be real pissed at me.”
A gentle knock was heard on Wilford’s door. Somehow, he already knew who it was gonna be.
“Come on in, Dark.”
The fusion poked his head in, somewhat shyly. Wilford blinked, rubbing an eye. Something about Dark’s aura seemed… off? It looked very purpley. Dark slowly came in, closing the door from behind. Will blinked again, seeing Dark dressed in a black button up shirt, a pure white blazer and pants. He looked a bit shy.
“Well… I thought of it,” he said.
“Th- that’s good,” Will stuttered, a bit distracted. Why was his face so warm? “You look… different.”
“I feel different.” Besides the strange purple and contrasting color change with the clothes, Dark looked remotely the same. He looked more calm than… ever.
Dark scratched the back of his neck. “I… I guess you can say I’m more… whole, than I used to be. I feel good.”
Looking away, Wilford nodded a couple of times. “Um- did you get an answer?”
Dark blinked. “To what?”
Blushing, Wilford hunched his shoulders. “To your- uh… ‘Mark obsession problem’...?”
Dark took a deep breath, trying to come up with the right words to say. “Well… even though I wasn’t really there… I felt Damien and Celine thinking about it, for sure. Mostly Damien, because… well, you know already… They were of course clueless but thought it through, and… once they were forced back together… I felt something change in me. It made me feel lighter. It made me feel like a weight was put off my shoulders.”
With no shame, Dark shed a few tears, smiling for real. “I’m at peace… you know?”
Wilford smiled, almost proudly.
“I’m glad,” he said, and as the words came out, he found that he really, truly was.
That made Dark smile again, which made Will duck his head.
“So… what do we do now?” Will wondered quietly.
“Well…” Dark looked around the room, thinking. “Walks?”
The madman nodded quietly, picking himself up off the chair. He gave Dark some thumbs up. “Let’s go~!”
The fusion nodded.
Chapter 58: Slow Reconciliation 2.0
As they walked down the hall, there was some needless staring from the other egos. Sure, they were all confused over Dark’s new look, but why do they have to treat it like it’s a new drama sensation of the nation?? There was also quite a bit of whispering. Nosy little fricks.
Wilford giggled at Dark’s little thought. He likes this new Dark already. He held the door open for Dark as they left- not before flipping off the others. Almost a bit violently, shoving both hands in and out of all their faces over and over again before shutting the door. They both giggled quietly for a moment before pressing on.
Not only until a few moments later, Wilford and Dark see a stressed out and tired Abe and Yin carrying a big box of cockroaches. Smiling wide, Wilford ran right over throwing his arms around them, and spinning them around in circles. Luckily, the cockroach box has a lid duct taped on it.
The three of them laughed, something of a light brightening in Will’s eyes as he saw the box. “Awe, you guys, you didn’t have to!!!”
Abe shrugged, holding onto the box tightly on his chest. “It was like the dead goldfish situation! We thought you’d be like the little kid that’s wondering why the fish is upside down, and us as the parents would go get a new one! You’d probably never know the difference, right??”
“Abe, he’s not that dumb,” Yin smacked Abe’s arm, grinning.
“Bug’s special,” Will said. “I’d never think he was just another cockroach.”
Dark poked Wilford’s shoulder. “Need I remind you, Bug was mine first.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, he was ours,” Will grinned, waving a hand in Dark’s face, almost scrubbing his cheek. Instead of the familiar snarky annoyed frown from Dark, he was scrunching his nose up while trying not to laugh.
He cleared his throat, seeing Abe and Yin’s faces as they both were staring at him and Wilford. “Wilford, uh… Should I explain, or…?”
After staring at Dark for a few seconds, Wilford gasped. “Oh yeah! Abe, Yin, I got Dark to forget about Mark!”
Well, not exactly ‘forget’. Dark would probably say… ignore. Ignorance can be the best type of revenge.
Yin smiled wide. “That’s great! That explains why he looks all friendly now!”
“I gotta say,” Abe started, waving a finger around Dark’s aura. “Purple looks good on him.”
Blushing, Dark mumbled a quiet, “Oh, shush.”
Wilford scrubbed at his cheeks again. Abe and Yin shared a look. They both exchanged little expressions that Wilford oh-so-easily noticed. He brushed their cheeky looks off his mind, and threw an arm over Dark’s shoulder. “You two can put the cockroaches away if you wanna. Dark and I are okay with Bug gone now… right?”
With Wilford giving Dark a slight unsure look, Dark shrugged, making a quiet “I dunno,” noise with his mouth closed.
“Yeah- we’ll be fine. We’ll be fine?”
Wilford smiled, looking back at Abe and Yin. “Yeah, we’re fine.”
“Mmkay, if you’re sure,” Abe replied, still clinging onto the box. He looks a bit attached to it. … The box, or the cockroaches?
“Anyway!” Wilford quickly changed his expression, grinning widely. “Dark and I are gonna go walk around town again. You two can either get rid of those cockroaches, or keep ‘em, I don’t really mind.”
The detective and attorney let out an identical, exasperated sigh, almost complain-like as the two egos walked off. Yin looked back to them. “No goodbye?!”
Wilford immediately stopped, running right back over, hugging the detective and district attorney tightly. And put playful kisses on each of their cheeks, almost making Abe gag.
“Thank you, you two,” Will whispered to them. Yin patted his head while Abe rubbed his back. Dark was watching them, smiling.
“We’ll all hang out soon, buddy,” Abe said. “Proud of you.”
Wilford pulled back, looking at Abe in the eyes. “No, don’t make me cry like this, big guy! You’ll tell me you’re proud of me later!”
“No,” Abe deadpanned. “IIIIIIII aaaaaaaammmmmm prrrooooouuuuuud ooofffff yooooouuuuu~~~~~~~~”
Abe started picking at Wilford’s hair, plucking little bits playfully. Wilford tries to wipe his eyes while trying to stop him. “Stop! I can’t cry happily and be angry at you at the same time!”
“Wilford, you coming??” Dark called out. Wilford struggled out of Yin and Abe’s grip, and saluted them a ‘see you later’.
“We’re keeping the cockroaches, right?” Yin asked as Wilford caught up with Dark and walked off with him.
“Definitely,” Abe replied. “I didn’t spend all that time catching them just to get rid of ‘em.”
Yin chuckled. “Sweet.”
Chapter 59: I'd Like This One, Please!!
Besides Dark’s new look, Wilford was very surprised over how more chipper and calm he’s been. It’s a bit unusual for Will to see someone as deadpanned and negative as Dark is to act the complete opposite, yet… a bit the same?? It was kind of weird- but, a good kind of weird. Wilford couldn’t quite find the right word to describe it. Is there even a word to describe the good kind of weird? Wilford wasn’t sure.
“Different,” Dark suggested. “The good kind.”
Without thinking too much of it, Wilford just went with it. “Good enough. I was gonna stick with ‘The Living Definition of Opposite Day’, but ‘different’ is still good.”
Will turned and saw that Dark wasn’t listening to him. He was looking at something that Wilford couldn’t really see. He poked Dark’s shoulder.
“I never noticed that before…” Dark whispered, wide-eyed.
“What is it?” Wilford poked Dark again.
Slack-jawed, Dark pointed over at a dog shelter. … Yeah, so what? Wilford rubbed his eyes, suddenly seeing the dog shelter surrounded by a bright red and blue aura. “Let’s go in there.”
Taking Wilford’s hand, Dark walked right in.
Inside was a chorus of happy barks and wild scrabblings at wire mesh- Dark stared at the hallway for a few long moments. “Where was the aura coming from then…?”
As soon as he spotted a counter with an employee sitting behind it, Dark rushed over to her, while still holding onto Wilford’s hand, making the madman peep. “Ack!”
“Hey, how can I help you?” the employee (her name tag said “Emily” on it) asked.
Dark’s free hand tapped on the counter. “Hello, ah… do you have any idea where the red and blue lights are coming from in here?”
Emily’s posture completely changed from helpful and friendly to scared and disturbed. “Oh, uh…… A- Are you sure you wanna know that, sir?”
Persistent, Dark nodded. Emily eyed over to Wilford. He muttered, “He’ll never leave if you don’t tell him…”
Nervously, the employee came out from behind the counter. She pointed down a certain empty hallway. “Uh… follow me…”
Well, one thing is for sure… Dark’s persistency never changed.
The hallway grew colder with each step. A small turn to the right, and there was a door with a small window. The egos look through, seeing a miniscule light at the very edge of the hallway. It flickered hauntingly, almost taunting them to come forward. Dark, bravingly so, put his hand on the doorknob, trying to take a closer peek through the window with his grip on Wilford’s hand tightening. Emily poked Wilford’s shoulder.
“Uh- Y’know, you two look like pit bull people, we have a few pit bulls here, if you’d like to come check those out…!”
Wilford looked at Dark, then back at the employee. “When this man is curious, there’s no going back. I’d love to see the pit bulls afterwards, though~!”
Defeated, Emily just faked a grin. “Okay! Come back to the front if you want to see the rest of what we’ve got! Good luck…!”
Wilford stared at the doorknob. “... You sure you wanna do this…?”
“Absolutely,” Dark replied, almost determined. “There’s nothing in the whole world like me with that kind of aura. I want to see what’s in here…”
There was really no way for him to be convinced otherwise, and would Will want to see what was causing the auras, anyways? … Probably.
But the door was already opening. There was no going back now. Still holding onto Will’s hand, Dark’s aura brightened as he stepped in the room. His new white clothing had Wilford almost shielding his eyes. “Sorry…”
“Nah, it’s fine…”
A loud high pitched squeak was heard on Dark’s foot. He and Will looked down, and saw a ripped off head of a stuff toy Pikachu. Little stuffing trailings were scattered, down the rest of the room.
“I now see why Emily suggested pit bulls instead…” Wilford whispered, clinging onto Dark. “What do they have in here…? A demon??”
… Sort of.
A low growl came from all the way down the end of the room. A kennel, about the size of the back of a truck, had its door wide open. Small red and blue lights were illuminating from inside of it. A large dead gray paw popped out, slowly along with another. Wilford and Dark gulped, but Dark kept a brave face.
The first thing they saw were big, cosmos-dark eyes, and whiskers the length of an arm. Then a snout the size of a beach ball- canines that cut through the gloom. So big, this dog could not be taken in all at once.
The dog’s and Dark’s eyes met, and their auras glowed together at the same time. Then, with a wide yawn, it plopped down on its haunches, tail wagging slightly.
Dark kept his eyes on it, slack-jawed like before. He slowly took a step towards the dog, with Wilford clinging on his arm, a bit frightened. The oversized dog sat still, staring at Dark’s free hand.
When he put it on its nose, a bit of dust stirred as the tail thumped against the ground. The fusion broke into a wide smile. He stuffed his face into the dog’s fur, making Wilford let go of his arm. Will could hear Dark’s sudden hysterical… cry laughter? He pulled his head back with a big gasp, looking up at the dog, only slightly hitting its chin. “OH, IT’S PERFECT.”
The dog’s tail kept thumping on the floor over and over again, letting their tongue roll out of their mouth, easily making it look like it was smiling. Intimidated by its size, Wilford only tip toed closer to the dog, patting its paw. The dog leaned over and slightly nipped on Will’s hair, leading to a big slobbering lick in the face. Ew.
Dark and Wilford looked at each other in the eyes as the dog panted loudly, almost smelling up the room.
They need this dog.
Chapter 60: She's Mine Now
“You WHAT?!” Emily shouted. “How’d you two get her out of her kennel without biting you?! Or getting her out of her room entirely for that matter?!”
“Ah, so it is a girl!” Wilford exclaimed, ruffling the dog’s chest. Her tail almost knocked over a pile of magazines on the table at the center of the lobby. “We just have that kind of power to attract special things, I guess~!”
Emily stared up at the dog while trying to fake a big grin. “Y- Yeah, heheh…! I wonder why that is…!”
Dark smiled while folding his hands together on the counter, with the dog resting her chin on his head.
“So,” he started. “Where are those adoption papers?”
Ducking down under her desk, Emily emitted a nervous little giggle while shuffling through some cabinets. “Well, at least somebody is willing to die for this thing…”
Emily slapped a stack of papers on the counter. “Just sign both of your names here, and I’ll go fetch her leash.”
“Wouldn’t a leash be too small?” Wilford called out as the employee walked over to a leash cabinet. “A leash could choke her!”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Emily replied, pulling out a huge, bone patterned leash from the cabinet. “We got somebody to make big ones.”
“And a collar?” Dark asked, sliding the papers and pen over to Wilford so he could sign.
Emily set down the leash on the counter, while also pulling out an oversized black collar, and a dark purple blanket tied in a certain way to look like a bandana. “We got it all covered. It has a name tag on the collar where you can write the name on it, and it gets imprinted on its own. You can name her whatever you want.”
While Wilford was struggling to make his handwriting as perfect as possible for signing the papers, Dark looked back up at the dog, who still had her tongue rolled out of the side of her mouth. Some drool was tripping down on his shoe, but Dark had no problem with it. He smiled. “Charlotte.”
Wilford hummed thoughtfully. “She doesn’t look much like a Charlotte, hm?”
“Her name’s Charlotte now.”
Will went with it, rolling his eyes with a small smile. He grabbed a black sharpie from a small cup that holds different kinds of pens and pencils, and hands it to Dark. “You can do the honors. I still gotta make my signature fancy.”
“It doesn’t have to be fancy. If everyone’s was, they’d all look the same.”
Wilford pulled his head back, staring at Dark for a moment. He snapped a finger. “Right. Stickin’ with my 3-year-old-like handwriting!”
Dark chuckled as Wilford scribbled his attempted fancy signatures, and made them about the size of his hand. “How’s that?”
“Looks good, Will.” Wilford beamed.
The dog - now Charlotte - stood up on all fours, almost scratching up the whole floor, wagging her tail on the curtains near the shelter’s windows. Emily yelped, shoving the collar and leash in Dark and Wilford’s arms. “Agh,okay!Thankyoutwoverymuchforgivingthisthingahappyhome,haveagreatday!!”
Squeezing Charlotte out of the door, Dark and Wilford tugged on her leash, while Emily shoved her bottom.
“Wow, she’s like the big red dog guy!” Wilford gritted his teeth as he - somewhat gently? - tugged on Charlotte’s leash to get her out of the door.
“What, that children’s series? … Clifford?”
“Ooh, yeah, that’s his name.”
“Just get her outta here already!” the employee screamed.
Finally, Charlotte popped right out from the door, almost landing right on top of her new owners. She yipped, looking pleased with herself.
The egos both crawled out from under Charlotte’s legs, already getting so much fur on their clothes. They didn’t care.
“How’s she gonna fit in all our rooms?” Wilford asked, trying to fight a smile as Charlotte nuzzled into his chest. “She’s the size of a school bus!!”
Dark giggled. “I didn’t think that far ahead. We’ll reconstruct something, probably.”
“Googs isn’t going to be happy about that.”
“When is he ever happy about anything?”
Wilford paused. “...... When somebody dies?”
Dark wrapped the leash handle around his arm. “Good enough.”
Charlotte padded happily after him, panting all the while.
There was staring from jogging passerby or families hanging out at the park- all three were more than used to it. Wilford and Dark were more accustomed to staring than anything, really. And it seemed like Charlotte was too. And besides having Dark’s previous aura and being the size of a half-grown t-rex, Charlotte acted like any other kind of dog. Tail wagging, tongue rolling, happy trotting… almost stepping on smaller dogs accidentally… which is every single dog known to man… God, Will and Dark love her.
As their walk grew on, Will noticed that Dark would seem to nod off every now and again before jolting back awake. It seemed Will hadn’t been the only one letting his stress get to him these past few days. After about the seventh time, Wilford made him sit down on a park bench before he collapsed on the spot.
Dark let out a long sigh. “Whooooo… I don’t think this new form is prepared to walk for hours on end yet… We should have gotten on Charlotte’s back to ride her home.”
Sitting right next to him, Wilford chuckled. “You think she’d like that? I tried getting on her back earlier, and she growled at me. Might be some past thing she went through. We should have asked that Emma lady!”
“What you said.”
“Learn people’s names, you dope.”
“Why should I? You’re always there to correct me anyways.”
Dark shrugged lightly. “Well, you once admitted yourself, you have a bad memory. And you interviewed a lot of people in your show. Lots of names.”
“Mmmmmmm yeah,” Wilford mumbled. “If I forget Charlotte’s name, please smack me. She’s too precious to forget.”
He felt a small breath of air from Charlotte’s nose on his neck. She was lying down against the bench from behind. “Yes, hello, sweetums.”
Closing his eyes, Dark smiled, hearing Wilford’s small banter with Charlotte. He could feel his legs beating at the same time, almost like they had their own heartbeat. Must be from walking for too long.
Then, Dark remembered something, making him lose his smile. Besides this new mending of his relationship with Will, and having this new form because Damien and Celine have finally moved on, and feeling at peace… Wilford still must hate him for what he did.
Dark looked over at Wilford, who was rubbing his hands all around Charlotte’s floppy face, trying to make her look like she was smiling without her tongue hanging out. No such luck, but it looked pretty funny.
Trying to fight a small laugh, Dark cleared his throat, and poked Wilford’s arm, making him stop. “Wilford… can I ask you something?”
“Hm?” He looked up, a bit of drool in his hair. “What?”
Dark’s fingers tapped on his lap. Oh boy.
“You… still don’t trust me anymore… don’t you?”
Pausing from wiping the drool out of his hair, Wilford went quiet. Charlotte almost had a look on her face as if she was trying not to listen.
“U-um…” Will made an uncomfortable noise out of the back of his throat, looking down at his hands. “Do we- do we really have to talk about this now…?”
“No, no, of course not, I just…” He trailed off, and now both of them were not looking at each other. Charlotte rested her chin on the top row of the bench between them. “It was suddenly on my mind, so… I thought I could ask… subtly.”
Will wheezed. “Slapping me with a fish might have been more subtle.”
“Heheh…” Pursing his lips, Dark turtled his neck in his jet black shirt collar. I was being serious.
Wilford paused again, looking at him over Charlotte’s snout. I’m sorry… We’ll talk about it later, maybe? When there’s not a lot of people around to know all our problems?
Without moving his head, Dark glanced over at him. “Sure.”
There was a long sigh, and Will wiped his nose. “Okay.”
“Lovely. Let’s go. My legs are better now.”
“Cool. Charlotte, get up, you purdy lady!”
Charlotte woofed. She snatched onto her leash in her mouth (the handle was still wrapped around Dark’s arm) as her owners got up and continued their walk back home. Dark had a small idea of how this next conversation would go if it was just he and Wilford outside in the middle of the night with their new dog. For one, maybe he’d be able to actually get more than a few sentences in before backing out. And - hopefully - Wilford could be able to fully trust him again… and with having Charlotte now, it’s a start.
Chapter 61: So Many Tiny People!!!
Charlotte’s a good dog. Wilford and Dark couldn’t wait for everyone to freak out when they got home. Especially Eric. For someone who loves animals just as much as the King of the Squirrels does, Eric would IMMEDIATELY fall for her. Here’s hoping she doesn’t accidentally squish him. But from Wilford and Dark have seen, where she avoids smaller dogs so she doesn’t hurt them, it’s unlikely.
There was an uproar when they finally got home. Most of the egos were staring up at the dog, slack-jawed, while the less matured ones were practically screaming over how huge Charlotte is. Lucky thing that Yandere didn’t pull out her katana to attack her. She was too busy trying to pat the dog’s head. Dark was a bit worried over how Charlotte can take crowds, but it looked like she was very used to everybody already. She just didn’t let anyone climb on her back. And speaking of crowds, Eric was at the very edge of it, trying to take in how big Charlotte was without the egos surrounding her. Difficult task, the dog is ridiculously huge. Ergo, the crowd. Both Dark and Wilford heard in Eric’s head, “I wish my legs had a growing mechanic to make me taller…”
Sort of granting the boy’s wish, Wilford ran right over and picked Eric up on his shoulders. “You’ll love her, kiddo!”
And then he carried the boy back over to Dark, plopping him down in front of Charlotte’s face. Dog and boy stared at each other before Charlotte smiled sweetly (yes, with her tongue rolling out again), bending her head down and sniffing at his hair. Fingers fidgeting, Eric carefully took his glasses off to try not to get them wet if the dog ever licked his face. “H- Hey there, big girl…! You’re so huge! Somebody must have overfed you, huh?”
Charlotte nuzzled her snout on Eric’s stomach, making him hesitantly wrap his arms around it, with his fake legs dangling from the floor. Cupping his cheeks, Wilford cannot contain how adorable this moment is. He may have squealed a bit.
Okay, okay, maybe more than just a bit. Who can blame him? His proverbial children are adorable!
So! After all of the commotion and adorableness was over, Dark started wondering if Charlotte was able to eat. And after experimenting her with a quickly made chocolate-less cake, she definitely can. She makes a mess very quickly though… Dark may have to create her a room specifically for eating in so that nothing else could get messy. As it was, they were just going to have to live with picking up cake off the floor. As long as he doesn’t wait for too long, Dark could have the chocolate crumbs of what would be left!
Wilford snickered at the thought, while just watching Eric trying to struggle to get back down on the ground while Charlotte was practically lifting him up. She seemed like she was enjoying this- her lips were curled in an expression that looked like laughter. Eventually, though, she let the boy down, nosing him gently to make sure he was alright. When Eric giggled, Will swore his heart was going to give out. Dark had a knowing smile, glancing over at him. “I think you should be more careful with who you should pair up with, no matter how cute they could be.”
Wilford punched his chest, faking a cough. “W- What are you talking about? Eric just wanted to see Charlotte, that’s all! … Also, you just admitted that Eric is cute.”
Dark elbow punched him in the arm. “Shush~”
“You first, Darky~” That had Dark clutch at his heart, having a passably playful manner (though he felt like choking).
While rubbing Charlotte’s nose, Eric gave the two a small look, almost smiling at them. He mumbled near Charlotte’s snout, “You have the weirdest but best dads for sure, girly. Besides me and everybody else, they’ll take good care of you.”
The dog let out a loud bark, and a few egos squealed in terror. She grinned… somehow. Everybody ignored it as Wilford snuck right over to the dog’s leg and hugged it. “Better get used to her, everybody! This is what happens when the new Dark is curious!”
The Egos all looked at Dark. He waved a hand. “You all have now learned it the hard way~!”
Some of the Egos were frowning at him, thinking he only adopted the dog to scare everybody, while the most of them were still looking at him in wonder over his new look. It’ll definitely take some time getting used to, especially for Dark, yet, he’s somehow so used to his new self already. He could feel the twins’ feelings in him, just as he always had, but these feelings were so uncommon for him. He really liked that they were. Almost like a child in a way, experiencing a bunch of new different feelings for the first time… Dark smiled at the thought, when everybody thought he was smiling because he scared them with Charlotte. No. He was just buzzing from the high, and so was his aura. Purple sparked and hummed against his body as he stared off into the distance, smiling quietly.
Suddenly, a pair of hands flew in front of his eyes, snapping twice. “Ground Control to Major Dark, hullo?? You’re dozing off.”
Dark flinched, blinking a few times, seeing Wilford right in front of him with big eyes. And an even bigger pair of eyes and a snout from behind him.
“Stop passing out, you scared me.”
“I wasn’t passing out, I was just… thinking.”
Wilford nodded with a suspicious look. “Uh huh~ About what?”
Instead of pushing the question away, Dark looked at him with real kind eyes. “Well, as soon as we find a big enough room for Charlotte, I’ll tell you.”
“Why not nooooowwwww?” Wilford whined, tugging on Charlotte’s whiskers gently.
“I didn’t say the usual, right?” Dark grinned. “You know, ‘It’s not important’ and ‘You wouldn’t get it’, and such~ You know what I am now, I figured I should actually tell you things from now on. But, just as soon as we find a room for Charlotte.”
“King of the Squirrels!” An almost dummy sounding voice called out from behind Charlotte. Dark and Wilford leaned over from the dog’s legs, seeing the monarch standing next to Charlotte’s tail with big eyes. “King of the Squirrels!”
“He knows where she can stay,” Wilford translated quietly. Dark’s eyes squinted. All he says is ‘King of the Squirrels’, how does he know where to put her??
“... Mmkay, then.”
The King grinned, with peanut butter almost falling off of his face as he ran over to grab Will and Dark’s hands, and skittered on over to his VERY oversized squirrel room. Charlotte followed slowly, trying not to step on any of the Egos’ toes. “King of the Squirrels!!!”
As soon as the King opened his door, a pack of squirrels immediately ran right on over to tackle him, licking all of the peanut butter off his face. Wilford and Dark looked at each other silently as the King was laughing like crazy over his tiny fluffy subjects. “King of the Squirrels, King of the Squirrels!”
Now Will was covering his mouth with his hands, muffling his own laughter. Charlotte’s tail was thumping each side of the wall from outside of the King’s squirrel dome.
Dark felt a bit nervous. “Are we sure that Charlotte isn’t going to eat the King’s squirrels…? Or… step on them?”
The King sat with his legs crossed, as his squirrels were climbing all over him. “King of the Squirrels?”
“Oh, you two are a bunch of worry warts,” Wilford crossed his arms. “Dark, have you seen how Charlotte has been acting around squirrels when we were taking her home? There were a few out today, and she was the pure definition of cautious! She wouldn’t hurt a fly!”
With his glasses almost slipping off, the King held all of his squirrels in his arms, standing up. “King of the Squirrels, King of the Squirrels, King of the Squirrels… King of the Squirrels?”
Wilford clapped his hands. “Oh, that’s perfect! He has multiple boxes to keep his squirrels safe anyway, if Charlotte ever gets cranky!”
King nodded enthusiastically. Dark pursed his lips, looking over his shoulder, right up against Charlotte’s eyes. She’s adorable. Dark couldn’t help but smile, turning to her and rubbing her snout all around. “You’ll have a chance to meet everybody one by one, okay? This is going to be your room for a while. Wilford and I will be right back.”
Wilford caught Dark peck her nose. Aww. “Be a good girl for King and his squirrels.”
The dog almost hesitantly licked Dark’s face, when it really was going to be his entire body. He didn’t mind at all, patting the side of her muzzle. His new suit would probably air-dry, anyway… or Dark could always get new clothes. But not now, so that will have to wait.
“King of the Squirrels?” the King asked, almost innocently. Wilford translated to Dark, “‘Where are you going?’”
“We’re giving you time to warm up to Charlotte, that’s all,” Dark replied, ignoring a squirrel chewing on his shoe. He patted his dog’s leg as she slowly walked in the King’s room. Squirrels were immediately running away, hiding behind the King. It looked like the dog didn’t really care. She still looked excited to be in a room where she can actually fit!
“Make sure nobody hurts her, King,” Dark said, hand on the door. “We just got her today, and I don’t want there to be any trouble surrounding her.”
Wordless, the King saluted, smiling. Wilford was hugging Charlotte’s tail. “We’ll be back soon, sweetie~! Make those squirrels your buds while we’re out!”
Uncontrollably, her tail smacked a hanging light from the ceiling. Wilford wailed, letting go before his head hit any of the glass. He landed right on Charlotte’s head on his stomach. The King almost shrieked, as pieces of glass were falling on the floor. “AGH! King of the Squirrels!! King of the Squirrels?!”
Charlotte’s head leaned down so Wilford could get back on the floor. “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay!! She was just excited over the ‘making friends with squirrel’ bit, I think!! I feel woozy…!”
Dark mumbled a kind of terrified “Jesus!” as he picked up Wilford from the floor, and dragged him by his suspenders to the King’s door. “Okay, welp, make sure she doesn’t destroy anything, be nice to her, we will be right back, Charlotte, WilfordandIloveyou, bye…!”
As Dark slammed the King’s door, Charlotte’s ears drooped. Her tail was still wagging, but thankfully not as crazy as ‘ceiling-light-smacking’ crazy. She already missed her dads so much!
Carefully, the King rested a hand on her leg. “King of the Squirrels, King of the Squirrels!”
‘They’ll be right back, pup!’
Charlotte spotted a tiny speck of peanut butter on the King’s nose. Before any of his squirrels could get to it, she leaned forward, and accidentally slobbered on the King’s glasses. He held in a deep breath, smiling wide. “King of the Squirrels~!”
‘Welcome to my kingdom~!’
Chapter 62: And How Does That Make You Feel?
“You alright there, Will??”
Wilford was rubbing his head, giggling like crazy. “Heheheh… Charlotte’s super strong, heheheheh…”
Dark snickered. “I think a bit of the glass got stuck and did something in your head.”
Wilford looked up at him like a resistant toddler. He even sounded like one when he said, “Nooo~”
Dark tilted the madman’s head to make sure there wasn’t actually some injury. He let out a relieved sigh.
“I believe you wanted to talk about… the thing… somewhere in private?” Will nodded, still giggling with a wobbling smile. “Where should we go, then?”
Wilford waved a hand, trying to fight his dizziness. “My rooooom!”
Chuckling through his nose as Wilford gently tugged on his collar to his room, Dark stumbled next to him on his way with him. Throwing the door open, Will flopped face-first onto his bed, Dark choosing instead to settle into a nearby chair. Which was Wilford’s flattened bean bag. “I never sat on this thing. It’s comfy.”
“Mlad myou mlike mit!” Wilford’s voice was muffled against his blankets, making Dark snort. He leaned up, trying not to sink in what was left that was the bean bag stuffing.
“You want to hear the thing?” he asked. Wilford’s head flew up from the blankets, sitting right up on his bed. “Yes please!”
Dark quieted for a little while, legs crossed over, staring out of the window. He thought that he knew what he’d wanted to say, but at that moment, everything had went quiet. Wilford crawled on his stomach on the edge of his bed, resting his chin in his hands. “... You can feel their feelings, huh? That must’ve been weird for your first few days.”
Dark let out a semi-loud chuckle. “It was for a while. After a few years, I’ve gotten used to it though. Lots of screaming and arguing in my head for a long time.”
“That’s awful!” Wilford frowned, sympathetically. “How were you able to keep yourself together all the time like that??”
“... I didn’t. Not at first, and as you saw earlier, definitely not all the time.”
Wilford sat up again with his legs crossed. “Huh… So… every time you almost split, you’d hide in your room so I wouldn’t see you? Or… them, I should say?”
“Yes,” Dark replied. “But they both knew they had to form back into me, because they both always saw the possibility of you almost having a memory breakdown if you saw them without me telling you everything about them.”
Wilford could feel some kind of sense of calmness and relief as Dark was talking, which was very rare before. It’s understandable.
“I didn’t want you to worry, and I was… I was scared,” he admitted quietly. “Mostly about how you’d react, but… I never thought it’d matter anyway, because you’d come in right after I formed back.”
“Well, of course I’d come in,” Wilford replied, losing the dizziness in his voice. He was smiling slightly with a hand on his heart. “I always worry when you’re grumpy-stressed. You just never let me help you when you were in the moment.”
Dark shrugged. “Well, now you know why.”
Wilford scooted closer off the edge of his bed towards Dark. “Can you… tell me what they’re feeling right now?”
Dark blinked. “Why?”
“I’m just curious,” Wilford replied, almost bouncing. “I only really saw Damien and Celine for a few seconds, so… I just wanna know how they’re feeling in there.”
Dark let out a soft chuckle, smiling at Wilford, who was almost practically sliding off his bed.
“They feel like…” He looked up at the ceiling, trying to his thoughts with the siblings’ and their inner feelings. He snorted, smiling wider. “Damien feels like he’s at some kind of weird therapy session, while Celine feels like she’s about to go on her first blind date back when she was 19 all over again.”
Wilford put a hand on his leg. “Is that a bad thing?”
Dark shook his head, grinning, the same as Wilford.
“Are the both of those how you feel?” he asked.
Dark’s smile softened, recollecting the twins’ thoughts. He nodded to himself. “No, but… yes, in a weird way. But I’m not them, and… I never went through those kinds of experiences before… It’s very weird to think about it, but… I like it.”
The two shuffled a touch closer.
“Are you mad at me, Dark?” Wilford asked. At Dark’s questioning frown, he continued, “For not talking to you, for not forgiving you…”
“Oh, Will, I was never mad. Scared, upset, perhaps, but never angry.” Dark easily noticed Wilford feeling a bit relieved. “I always knew you were going to be that way once I told you. I just never liked the thought of it being real.”
“Is that another reason why you never told me?” Wilford was about to add a ‘never wanted to’ in that sentence, but remembered that Dark wanted to tell Wilford about his past the whole time he’s known him. He thought a small proud ‘Good job, me! ’ to himself, making Dark snort again. Will now secretly liked being able to make Dark actually laugh at his little thought antics.
Dark looked down at his hands. “It became a driving factor, yes. But- I suppose I always knew I’d tell you someday. Something like that cannot- should not stay hidden forever. You loved them so much, as they do towards you, Will. I knew the consequences, and I told you anyway. I also knew that you’d never forgive me. And… that leads to that little question I asked before… Do you still not forgive me?”
Wilford opened his mouth, with nothing coming out. He sighed quietly, not able to get his answer out. Dark tilted his head. “It’d be better if you answer honestly. I won’t feel hurt in any way.”
A brief pause.
“I want to forgive you…” Wilford’s hand was clinging on a suspender. “But… I can’t. Not after the things you did. I mean, I don’t… I do still hate that you hurt my friends, and there’s nothing I can actually do to try to bring them back, but they’re alive in you somehow, and…”
Will cleared his throat as he shut his eyes, trying to get his thoughts straight. “You know how when there’s a baby, and a friend of the parent of the baby meets them, and when they meet again years later and the baby is probably a teenager and their parent’s friend remembers them like mad and the teenager doesn’t at all but knows they’ve met before????”
Another brief pause. “... Yes?”
“Well, all of that is basically how I feel about Damien and Celine right now,” Wilford continued. “I know I’ve been through a frickin’ encyclopedia about my past, and I’ve seen myself with them before, and I know now that I was really close to those two, but… I don’t feel as close to them as I used to… Might be because I don’t remember them the way I did before, and you never told me about them before you let me relive everything with them - kind of - but… I dunno. I know they were close with me… and I barely remember anything about them… and… you killed them without me knowing it. I just can’t forgive you. I still hate you for what you did, but… I still consider you as one of my greatest friends… somehow. So… I hope you can take all of that as an answer.”
His eyes a little less bright, Dark nodded. “I can definitely understand that.”
“I don’t like hating you for it. I know why you did it, but it’s just…”
“Too much?” Dark offered.
Dark hummed quietly, patting his knee. “Well… That’s all I needed to hear.”
Wilford smiled sweetly, adorably hunching his shoulders. “Me too. Just… when you’re not sure about something… will you at least tell me about it, from now on?”
“Well…” Dark scratched his neck. “I was never the best at keeping promises, but… considering I’ve literally changed in a good sense… I’ll try.”
With a small nod, Will sighed. He hopped off his bed, resting his head on Dark’s shoulder. Dark sat still with his fingers intertwined on his lap.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t willing to listen to you before, Dark.”
“It’s fine,” Dark replied, smiling softly. “As I said, I knew you weren’t going to for a while. You don’t need to apologize.”
“Yeah…” Wilford mumbled after flapping his lips around. “Still feel bad about it though.”
“That’s fine too.”
“We still friends?”
“If you wish it so.”
Wilford smiled again, turning over to plop his bottom on the floor next to Dark, still sitting on his beanbag. “Nice~”
The fusion chuckled softly. “What are you doing down there?”
“Being me,” Wilford grinned. “Got a problem with that?”
“No.” Dark’s smile didn’t go away.
“Good,” Wilford replied, lying his back down on the floor. “... I almost hit my head on my bed stand.”
“Now that would have been a real problem,” Dark snickered. Will stuck his tongue out.
Dark looked up from Wilford to his door. He could sense the King slowly walking Charlotte around. It feels like everybody is behaving around her… except one. Dark stood up from Wilford’s bean bag, brows furrowed. Wilford sat up, looking at Dark with big eyes. “What?”
Dark’s aura sparked tiny reds and blues. Wilford felt a hint of anxiety, thinking Dark was about to change back to his old self for some reason. “Wilford, do you remember all those times you said that Eric’s father wasn’t so polite?”
Wilford went straight faced just by thinking about Derek. “Yes and no, but go on.”
His eyes trailed down to Dark’s hands, clenching into fists. “It looks like Derek isn’t being so nice to everybody over Charlotte.”
Will immediately stood up, noticing more tiny reds and blues surrounding Dark, but the purple was mainly present around his body. Wilford had no idea how to stop that. It must be the twins being angry at Derek or something in there… Will put a hand on his shoulder. Dark looked at him, sighing. “... It’s okay. I’m okay.”
Wilford felt a bit unsure, but smiled at him anyway reassuringly. Dark took a deep breath through his nose. “ Let’s go teach Derek a lesson when he messes with our dog. ”
“Hell yeah,” Wilford smirked.
The two headed out of Wilford’s room, immediately off to find Derek.